Saturday, April 12, 2014

Learning something new

I enjoy looking at surface pattern designs, but have very little understanding of how to create them. I took a little step forward in my learning with this image. First I sketched a bunch of things from my kitchen. Here's one page from my sketch book.
Then I scanned them into the computer, played around with the relative sizes, placed them together on one page, and printed it out.

More work with tracing paper, moving things around, adding a few more objects, and then I inked the final piece.
Here's where the computer fun started. I scanned it back into Photoshop and tried out a few things I'd learned by searching online. First here's what happens when you go to Image, then Adjustments, then Invert.

But I wanted a white line and colored background. That involved going to Select, using the eyedropper to pick up the white, then to Layer, New, and Layer via Cut, which puts the line work on a layer of its own. You can then color another new layer and change the order of the layers so the white line is on top.

And here's a bonus one where I somehow managed to color the lines rather than the background. Still learning! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A great attitude to rain

As I was contemplating adding words to today's picture, I came across this great little verse by James Whitcomb Riley. I don't know anything more about him except that his dates were 1852 to 1916, this comes from a piece called Wet-Weather Talk,  and I'm guessing from the semi dialect that it was put into the mouth of a country character.

"It haint no use to grumble and complane
It's jest as cheap and easy to rejoice;
When God sorts out the weather and sends rain,
W'y rain's my choice."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day Two

A quote from my favorite poet. I'm not sure I could offer this one for sale because of copyright issues (though some people say very short and attributed quotes are OK). Next time I'll look for something that's definitely in the public domain. The postcard was downloaded from a site that has lots of old images, some for free. (I can't now remember which site but there are lots.) No need to scour junk/antique shops any more for that sort of thing!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Challenging myself

I recently came back from a wonderful vacation. No prizes for guessing where we went!
I'd also been to Scotland to visit my father earlier in the month, so March wasn't very productive work wise. Now I'm trying to re-establish some good habits and therefore I'm setting myself a challenge - 20 new pieces of art work in the next 20 days. Here's piece number one.
I don't have any particular theme in mind and obviously they can't be too big or complex if I'm really going to do one a day. It'll be interesting to see what emerges.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bird Collages

Here are some of my recent bird collages grouped together. Apart from the subject matter and the format of these 6 x 6 inch panels, I'm not really thinking in terms of series, but it's fun to see which ones work with which others in terms of color and degree of abstraction. I guess of these the only pairing that doesn't really work for me is the last.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Trying something new

I recently saw work by the artist Rogene Manas. She uses paper clay to create bas relief art work. I don't know what her recipe for the paper clay is, but I decided to try doing the same using the mixture I had made up for making my little 3-dimensional birds. It was on the wet side and tricky to use. I know there's a commercial product available that I might try another time. But in any case here's my design in paper clay on a wood panel. The white round the edges is from gesso that I applied to the sides of the panel.
I painted the whole thing dark grey, making sure to get my brush into all the nooks and crannies.
I then brushed the blue background just on the surface so that the grey would show through. The surface was quite textured. Some of it is just the way the paper clay is, but some was added by rolling it out between layers of plastic wrap.
And here's the final piece. The 3-dimemsionality is less obvious now that the color is there. Part of me thinks I might prefer the all dark version. What do you think?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Name that chicken

To celebrate getting to 50 items in my Etsy store, I'm holding a little competition. The best name for this chicken (as judged by my friend who will not see who's posting ideas) will win your choice of any item $12 or less from my store. I'm also running this on my Alison Kolesar Illustrator page on Facebook.