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

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary with text

mary,mary,garden-th-web

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.

 

fantasy illustration, fonts, Illustrations, kids, Odd Little Stories, simple photoshop, thoughts behind the work

Pumpkin House Home Sweet Home

pumpkin-house-HSH-web-th

A sweet fairy has a new home.  She dances for joy at the warm light coming from her big pumpkin abode.  Her dress is in tatters and her hair is a mess, but she now has her very own pumpkin.  You can continue to make more chapters to this story.  This is a happy ending for this little gal.  It is a watercolor I did some time ago and it has been forgotten until now.

I used a font called Worstveld Sling…this is the italic version.  I love the simplicity.  It
is very legible and all I did was add an additional stroke.  I laid it on the bottom half of the painting but it was getting lost in some places.  So I made a new transparent layer and tinted some areas with the soft yellow to eliminate the visual clutter.  This took a little time to finish the touch ups on this piece because the edge was kind of raggedy.  I smoothed it over a little with a soft brush of orange to tie the pieces together.  I erased the white background around the border because I wanted the transparency to reveal the cool jagged edge of the painting which I think is very appealing.  I did not want it on a white border.  When  you print on textile, it is very preferable to use the PNG format, so that way you can also put it on different colors of fabrics.

I would like to see this art on a baby’s outfit.  I think that could work.  I am happy with this as I think it’s a good fit of text and subject.  I think this could easily become a story.  Of course, now that I look back it is somewhat autobiographical.  Did you know there are fairies living under logs and in abandoned bird nests?

Here it is on a onesie

alphabet, fantasy illustration, fonts, Illustrations, kids, Pen and Ink Drawing, simple photoshop

A Hammock rests here

hammock-web.

She was reading but my bet is she won’t finish this book and very soon it will gently fall to the ground.  She is looking pretty relaxed with her pet rabbit on her shoulder.  I had a pet rabbit once in Pittsburgh, PA.   This little pen and ink sketch done with black ink on white watercolor paper dates back a few years when I was contemplating writing an alphabet book.  I am sure I had slated it to be H for Hammock but, since I’ve been putting images on kids t-shirts I’m opting for the word “Rest”.  I have a feeling moms would like to rest so I did this for them.  They could think about a little rest when they dress the baby or child.

The font is Lieb Doni and I hope people find it appropriate.  When it comes to fonts, there are so many ways to go and so many choices, it can get confusing. I colored this digitally with my Wacom Intuos Pro tablet and pen in photoshop CS6.  I need to practice using brushes again…it’s been a really long time.   I love using the big brushes and keeping the opacity always somewhere from 30 to 50%.  I’d rather build up layers of transparent color.  I love painting this way.  It is very relaxing.  I think all the black strokes around the hammock are making the whole image a little dark.

I would appreciate comments and critiques.  That’s what I am using the blog for.

Here is the link to purchase.

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.

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.