Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Note Card! Stripes N Roses

Spring is still more than a month away but I'm in the mood for it now! If you've been following the blog lately, you've seen my in progress photos of this rose pattern from sketching, to color, to details. It's taken a little bit longer than I expected but I think the result was worth it. I had originally planned to pair the pattern with polka dots, but on impulse I tried it with my brush stroke stripes and loved it. What do you think?

The note cards are printed on high quality bright white recycled paper with a cotton-like texture. I am listing the cards as a set of 5 with envelopes or as individual cards also with envelopes. Hop over to my Etsy shop and have a look around.

Let's all think warm thoughts. Spring is on its way!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Decor

Valentine's Day has never been my favorite holiday. And even though I don't decorate for holidays other than Christmas very often, I felt the urge to put together a special vignette for the occasion. Not a single heart in site, but I found an excuse to display my J. Geils Band album. How awesome is this album cover, right?

No matter what your Valentine's situation this year, I say to all of you, Happy Valentine's Day! Make it awesome!

P.S. The stack of teacups vase was given to me by a very dear friend. Thanks again, very dear friend!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Rose Pattern Progress Update

These last couple of weeks have been unexpectedly busy. And since I prefer to paint by sunlight (and this season is short on sunlight) it's been hard to make time to work on the rose pattern. It's exciting to be almost finished. I say almost because I know I'll nit pick the details until I'm satisfied. 

Check out the earlier progress photos here. They illustrate the layering process I use to create these blooms.

And, oh yeah, Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Collections: Spools

 I feel like I need practice photographing small objects like I have done for my Etsy shop so I pulled the camera out last weekend and played around with some different objects. In the process I became interested in capturing collections of small objects. This photo is of spools of thread that were my granny's. For her they were utilitarian, but for me they are a small collection of objects that are no longer made this way. They represent domestic life and nostalgia as well as a family history. I plan to find other such collections to photograph as a way of documenting family history and exploring the concept of collecting...and of course practicing my product photography skills.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Progress: New Rose Pattern

In the spirit of documenting my progress with new patterns or projects, I have been taking photos of my new rose pattern. I enjoyed working with watercolor pencils on the "Good Libations" cocktail recipe cards and the tropical leaves thank you cards so much that I wanted to do another pattern with them. I put a florescent pink sticky note on a green envelope one day and immediately I imagined a pattern of dainty roses in the day glow hue with deep green leaves.

After sketching the individual rose clusters I scanned them in and arranged them into a pattern in Photoshop. I printed out this pattern cropped to the size of a folded note card. I played with the sizing and spacing until I was satisfied with it.


Then I copied the full pattern onto watercolor paper to begin the color work. I start by filling in the shapes with a light wash of gouache. Then I drew the details in with watercolor pencils. The next step is to use various small brushes to blend the color.

This photo shows all three of these steps clearly. (You can tell that I started in the top middle and worked down because I got darker as I went. I will fix that in the next round of watercolor pencil and brush work.) And yes, there will be another round of watercolor pencil and brush work. I like to take it slowly and work in as many stages as I can. I like the layered look I end up with and it gives me the chance to make changes as I go.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Thank You Cards - The making of

It's rare that I take progress photos of my drawings or paintings. The background painting for my new thank you cards took quite a while so I took photos to keep my family and friends up to date with its progress.

The base is done in gouache (one of my favorite media) and the detail was done with watercolor pencils and a tiny detail brush. I love the versatility of watercolor pencils! They can be used dry to give a look like colored pencils. Wetting the "lead" of the pencil, you can create an oil pastel effect. Or, as I did with this painting, you can draw with the pencil and go back in with a brush to selectively paint certain areas. I love this technique because it give the final painting a layered, textured and ultimately more realistic appearance.

It's interesting to go back after the project is done and see how it looked at different phases. I am definitely going to take time to do this from now on.
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