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.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, New Item

It's a new year and I'm kicking it off with a new item in my Etsy shop! What better item to start a new year with than a thank you card. In this time of reflection on the past year, I find myself very thankful for family, friends and the many other blessings in my life.

And in this new year, I'm looking forward to spring and summer already with this tropical leaves motif. The background is hand painted with gouache and watercolor pencils. It is drawn and painted from the same reference photos of canna lily leaves I used for my "Good Libations" cocktail recipe cards. That's also my hand drawn lettering.

These cards are great for any time you want to send a quick note of thanks with a tropical twist, and make a fun addition to your stationery stash. I am listing the cards singly and in sets of 5 with matching clover green envelopes.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sketchbook Peek

Happy Friday! I thought I'd share some peeks into my process this week with a couple of pages from my sketchbook and a test print that provided some interesting results. 

I've always loved birds, so as an exercise I sketched a couple of them as quickly as I could (from photographs). The loose style is in stark contrast to my usual meticulous approach...and I like it!

So in keeping with this new more spontaneous style, another day I worked on a design that started out as an abstract doodle and turned into a flower (the one on the far right). From there I kept playing with the style to see what I could come up with. 

And finally, here is a photo of a test print from the scribble dots note cards. I was trying out different sized dots for the design. I accidentally printed over a previous test. I kinda like the pattern the overlapping dots created.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Items in the Shop!

I'm excited to say that I've added two new note cards to the Etsy shop!

This pattern is a fun, hand drawn take on the classic polka dot. I'm offering this pattern on two different stocks: kraft and Clover. The kraft gives a rustic pen on paper bag look. The Clover is a bit more polished; glossy black on vivid green.

If you haven't yet, head on over to the Etsy shop to see my other items. More coming soon.

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