animals, dogs, horses, cats, Illustrations, kids, simple photoshop, thoughts behind the work, whimsy

I need to find me a cat, design

find-a-cat-leaves

I am very happy with this drawing.  Maybe things are falling into place with this effort.  The leaves are a watercolor that I scanned and brought into photoshop.  The cats were added in layers in line art and colored in.  Everything was done after that on my tablet. Hey, I only crashed Ps once, and I think that’s because I got distracted with a visitor and had a feeling it would happen.  I was away too long and by the time I hit save, I knew it was too late.  But I did not lose too much as I just had to paint in more of the pale turquoise leaves.  This happened once before for the same reason.  my fault.   ALSO, as  time goes on I will learn how to manage things better and make smaller files.  I am getting more and more comfortable working with text.

This is kind of new territory for me and it’s really been fun. Here is the drawing on products.  and boy this product line is getting bigger every day. what fun!

Let me know what you think about this dear readers.  I would love feedback.  I am getting closer to my goal.

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

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

Farmers: An American Experience

farmers-pencil-sketchfarmers-full-text-th

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

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

You’re On a Roll

youre-on-a-roll-web

When it comes to humor, everybody has an opinion.  The world revolves around people putting opinions of  other people’s creative work into a niche.  Critics enjoy this because they can sit outside and look at it and not be threatened as they are only observers and not the creators.   The truth is, corny or not, people laugh at puns and somebody always will–so let’s move on.  What’s the fuss about all this?

Well, this was an idea I had and was reluctant to proceed because it is a classic “pun” or “play on words”.    My thought was to put a baby in the hot dog bun and draw that.  I got cold feet.  So I did this instead.  Call me a coward but I’m trying to put fonts and images together as a self-motivated interest and I’m trying to stay true to my goal.  That’s my newest M O, so for the sake of being a little more traditional and not wanting to offend anybody, here’s the newest drawing.
I sketched the hot dog in the bun with a ball point pen and scanned it in greyscale. Then opened it in photoshop and painted it in with a few semi-transparent shades of various colors, making a layer for each major item: hot dog, bun, and of course the text.  Did the same for the little dog.  For me, drawing simply like this in photoshop is super easy and very rewarding.  When it was completed, I saved it as a psd file and then removed the background and saved it as a png. Then I combined all the artwork layers.  I am sure this is not the preferred method, but I just plow ahead and do whatever works.  When I grow up, I want to be able to use AI and know what I’m doing.  After years of PSD, I just keep trying and keep learning.  I hope to learn one new thing every day.

When I studied graphic design in college, I drew in AI all the time and was never intimidated. I remembered putting images on to a thumb drive and then bringing them to a professional printer and staring in awe and these gorgeous glossy huge prints spit out my artwork.  I was in love.  Now after all these years, the program is scaring me.  But Adobe is  making improvements that certainly make it more intuitive.  I will continue to plow ahead in the hopes my memory comes back and I can learn new things.

The wonderful font is Hansel  Texture and I think it’s great.  I will be using it more I hope but this is the first time.  I am keeping all these images super simple and super big.  I like seeing them big on t-shirts and I like seeing them on kids’ onesies too.  That’s where I’m at and wow, how fun would it be to see this on adult onesies, if there were such a thing.

Here’s the art on some stuff.

alphabet, animals, fantasy illustration, Illustrations, kids, Pen and Ink Drawing

Fun Frog with alpha-blocks

frog-color-text-web

Here’s a leaping frog full of color and maybe a little nonsense. He is painted in watercolor and drawn with a crow-quill pen. I have colored and added a stylized text to match his personality.
Frogs are a subject of fun, ridicule, and story-telling.  Have fun with this. You may need one in your collection.
Here’s the link to purchase.

fantasy illustration, Illustrations, kids

You Are the Best, 2 kids’ portrait

you-are-the-best-web

The boy has the flower and the girl has the lollipop.  They are dressed in brown and white and their outfits don’t make any sense at all.  What was I thinking?  Perhaps they just walked out of a fairy tale.  This watercolor is a little retro looking I think and is reminiscent of a time when gingerbread cookies were the rage. ha  ha.

I am having fun with my wacom tablet and exploring new fonts. Even though the tablet is old, it still works great.  I wish I could say the same for me.  Not everything works..but  if you get the job done, does anybody really care?

I think this would be fun for grandparents.  Here it is in my on-line store.

animals, dogs, horses, cats, fantasy illustration, Illustrations, simple photoshop, thoughts behind the work

Dude…2 cats in a love conversation

Dude-web

A Big cat and little cat are having a love conversation. The big cat has camouflage artwork on his body and the little cat is making big body language. Who is talking to who? Who loves who?   It could go either way, so have fun with this.
Since I seem to be in my retro mood for the past few weeks, this was a small sketch in one of my many sketchbooks.  I always refer to my sketchbooks, whether the sketches are good or not.  The important thing is that you get the information down. Usually, the first sketch is the best one because that carries the message across in the strongest and most immediate way.  You can always tweet the drawing a little bit and get it to fit into what you want now.  This drawing was a little different because I kept it very raw and did not polish it up at all.

I scanned it and made sure I put it on a large white background leaving a lot of space to make room for a big text area.  I just made a mask and gave it a transparent background and then painted the cats some and with the direct selection tool, filled areas with different shades of black, greys and whites. I know there are artifacts all over the place but I am moving ahead and will repair the image later.  I hope this does not bother people too much.

this is how it looks on products: Dude-web