fantasy illustration, kids, simple photoshop, thoughts behind the work

Mischievous Green Critter

green-critter-chalk-web

He was born on a piece of  toned paper, drawn quickly with nu pastels which are a kind of hard pastel sticks.  Very messy.  So he decided to clean up his act and become a 1/2 hand drawn, 1/2 digital critter.  Perfect for him since he never obeyed any rules in the first place.

He works as an undercover green spy and here he is hiding as silly fun.

So as usual, what started out to be a quick little thing, ended up being a project.  That’s ok because it is giving me a chance to use my old Wacom Intuos Pro and improve my photoshop skills,  And I am getting better as saving my png files, using transform tools, brushes and adjustment layers.

Here’s what he looked like when first born….  He needed work obviously but as long as the idea was there, he was a candidate for surgery. ha ha ha

green-critter-chalk-orig

alphabet, fantasy illustration, kids, Revising Old Work, simple photoshop, Uncategorized

a b c alphabet letters

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These three little letters were an idea I had a long time ago and I did not forget about them.  I love drawing and sketching little critters and I hope I can get a complete alphabet one day of little marching letters.  When I drew them the sketch had little white feet of some kind and I carried it through here in the photoshop drawing.

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The red and green above are the original ideas which I managed to save from oblivion.
I love the little legs and I think if I can be consistent throughout the alphabet on treatment of this kind of nice flowing design, white feet, treatment on their heads and eyes especially and the thick and thin variety in the black lines, I hope I may actually have something here.  I did do an alphabet a long time ago and here is one letter done in scratchboard and gold.  I can’t find it right now but it will show up.  It was pretty awesome.

Of course, I know I’m going about this in the wrong way because these should be done in vector in AI and to do them as bitmap in photoshop is pretty labor intensive.  But….I wanted to get the idea down why I still remember it.   Also I have lots of brushing up to do in Illustrator and photoshop is right now easier for me.

 

fantasy illustration, Illustrations, Revising Old Work, simple photoshop, step by step, how to, thoughts behind the work

Corn Fairy’s Nightly Run

corn-fairy.revised-web

What can I say.  I am working hard trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t work in photoshop digital painting.  I’m still getting layers mixed up and even though I am still scrambled eggs about it, I am so happy to have learned a new thingy in this one.  I found an old abstract painting and brought it in as a background and tilted it, blew it up, changed the levels a lot until I got a nice contrast between the background and my sweet fairy.  With that as a positive, the negative is that I feel I lost an opportunity to paint the corn as it should look in moonlight.  The same can be said about miss fairy herself, although I like her weird hair with the red maple leaves all over it.  I won’t do that again  though because I don’t think it worked.  When you add something and it looks added and is not inspiring, it will always be a dead issue and is better off left dead.  But alas, every time I paint one of these, I get a little closer to getting the concept.

corn-fairy-old wc

This is the old corn fairy from 2005.  I like the idea but I am surely not there yet. All in all, this is the better work but I will meet the challenge of reviving it.  It is always good to save your work.  It is much more rewarding to revise your own stuff that to just grab something off the web.  I love the corn in this and the corn colors. I also think her skin tones are pretty cool.  I may try this whole thing again at some later date.

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Here is the abstract big watercolor.  I changed so much of it –changed the levels and saturation in photoshop.  See if you can guess which little section of this I used and manipulated.  The original painting is misty and washed out just as it looks here because I washed and tried to scrub out what I had painted a long time ago.  Because I used Arches 140lb. cold press, I could not get it all out.  Now I am so happy about that because I can use this artwork for so many digital applications now.  How cool is that?  The other option is that I could paint over it but I think that would ruin it.  So I will leave it as it is: a hidden treasure.

fantasy illustration, fonts, people, simple photoshop, step by step, how to, thoughts behind the work

Farmers: An American Experience

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This started out as a pencil doodle.  When I brought it into photoshop, I adjusted the levels to make the greys of the pencil as dark as I could, and the lights as white as I could. This gave me a little template to build the digital painting on.

There is a lot of painting involved here and a lot of colors and brushwork too.  It took a long time.  I am learning to navigate through my Wacom tablet which saves a lot of time. Learning shortcuts is amazing. I wanted the wife to have pears on her dress but they are not joyous colors.  Because of the situation farmers find themselves in, nothing here is joyous.  I hope their expressions reveal what is going on in their lives.

I usually don’t do political drawings but I thought I would have a little fun with this.  It was pretty easy choosing an appropriate font for a title.  I called it An American Experience because there was a PBS series with this name for a long time.  It was a documentary series about cultural phenomena. This font is Goudy Stout.  I love the name and think it’s sounds exactly what it looks like.

My favorite part of this piece are the two types of bodies.  She is a plump pear and he is a skinny dude.  They make a perfect couple that we see in real life just about every day.  Regarding the coloring; my favorite part is his blue jeans.  When jeans get old and worn, they look kind of yellowish/grey sometimes.  There are many layers and tones of the colors on everything here, and I sing the praise of “multiply” brush effects.  It adds so much depth and dimension, as it picks up the colors underneath with every stroke.

An additional treat is that it was saved for web as a png file and therefore it can be printed transparently on to different fabrics.  This piece ended up looking great on lots of textile products and it really surprised me.

Here is what it looks like on a grey sweatshirt product

dogs, horses, cats, fantasy illustration, Illustrations, kids, simple photoshop, step by step, how to, thoughts behind the work

My Orchid Kitty

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This kitty is covered in orchids.  I had orchids sitting in front of me from my patio garden  and I drew the simple outline of kitty, added wings, a little bird and some fun and not so ordinary color palette.  Then I drew abstract fragments of the flowers on his body.  The little bird ended up having one of his wings looking like another bird facing in the opposite direction. a perk from heaven.

The font is Gigi.  I got the color just by going down a few shades darker than the orchid flower on the color wheel.  The whole drawing was done in photoshop with a few simple brushes.  lots of layers: orig. scanned art, outline, coloring, text, and a white layer in there to be able to see what it finally                                                                                            would look like.

I love getting comments.  Let me know what you think: either about this revision series or any comments on the art are appreciated.

cat-orchid-web

 

alphabet, fantasy illustration, fonts, Holidays, Illustrations, kids, Odd Little Stories, scratchboard drawing, simple photoshop, thoughts behind the work

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary with text

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From the nursery rhyme the 1st paragraph of Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary is illustrated here. This painting is a digital drawing and painting of my own idea. I have tried to use colors and text that engage a nostalgic mood. Mary, Mary was quite the contrary miss, I think.

What started out as a cool idea and something nice to do on a quiet Sunday ended up being a 6 hour project….from the idea to the photoshop drawing and painting to the addition of text.  I made 2 versions, one with text and one without.  I ended up only listing the one version with text online.

What can I say except I love drawing like this and playing with text.  When I moved from the U.S. I left all my fabulous books and films behind.  For 40+ years, I had collected “primers” which in my collection, dated back to the 1880’s.

They were old beautiful books that I treasured and cherished. Primers were children’s elementary readers.  Heads up on this one.  The vocabulary, language in general was very sophisticated and advanced.  I had a 5th grade reader which was equivalent to what would now be 1st year high school.  There was no photography and dot printing had not been invented yet.  So all the art was line art only.  That is where I learned the fundamentals of drawing in grey scale by not using grey scale but using line art and the idea that drawing was an optical illusion.  The width of the lines conveyed the tonal values.  That led to my 30 years of drawing in scratchboard. I drew for over 25 years only in black and white and I am not ashamed to say it.  I also learned about scale from primers.  Think about this:  Convey a mountain with a few people on top of it…don’t forget to include the clouds, the weather, the country, etc etc .then ask yourself if it conveys a mood as well as giving all that info?  The  storyboard was alive at the turn of the century for sure.  All the rules and success of animation are in the old primers.

All of these principles have basically never changed.  You become a better artist when you learn digital media because basically art is science.  Photoshop and Illustrator are basically science and math is your friend.  After one month of working hard and trying to remember my old skills, they are coming back.  Now that I have the desire to use typography, this is just another icing on the cake.

Here is a product with this 100% digital art.