cars and trucks, Illustrations, short stories

My Sweet Chevy

57 chevy.drawing.web

Once upon a time I owned this sweet car.  It was great and ran great with no problems. I had it for around 10 years.  At the time, it was considered a classic but I didn’t think it was old. I sold it to 2 German guys who flew to Los Angeles looking to pick up cars for their German Classic Car Club they were starting up.  This was my all purpose car and I needed it for everything, including kids and everything that comes with kids.  I got really tired of people stealing parts off of it.  I could not park it anywhere without coming back to find it had been stripped again.  Times change, cars change.  I don’t really miss it because it was a lot of fun when I had it.  Hope it’s still alive and doing well in Germany.

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

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.

 

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

Pumpkin House Home Sweet Home

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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

animals, flora and fauna, Illustrations, Odd Little Stories, thoughts behind the work

I love the Forest with deer

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I’ve seen lots of deer in the forest because I lived in the northwest for a long time.  How can you describe them except to say they are very sweet and can win you over.  Although I remember many mornings shaking a string of empty soda cans at them to make as much noise as I could to chase them away from my flowers and plants.  They always won and grabbed some nibbles before they fled.

Or when driving down a main street, a mom with her twins would come out of the woods suddenly and very slowly cross the street.  They understood traffic and I swear they knew stop signs. The only really dangerous  part is when they would try to cross a main highway from the woods to get to the cool riverbank.  All  you could do is slow down and pray they make it.

check out my online store to see this little guy on various products

animals, fantasy illustration, Illustrations, Odd Little Stories, thoughts behind the work

Cat clouds good night

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Have you ever lost something and found it a long time later? Well, here’s one cat I remember drawing way back in 2004.  I found this little guy in a zip file that somehow got saved from disaster.  So I know he’s not very well drawn but this art came at a time in my life when I almost died.  I was recovering from major surgery and was trying to remember who I was as I had lost a lot of my memory.

I remember sitting in a little travel trailer and painting these little cats by the hundreds. I painted some on wood and some on paper. Most were just simple watercolors no bigger than 6 square inches.  I did some on scratchboard too.   Some survived.  They helped me clear my head, get my bearings and be optimistic for the future.  I love cats and this therapy did work.

Eventually a lot of my memory came back but I still don’t know what day or month it is most of the time.  My friends are very patient with me.

Here is the little guy on some products.