In 2013, when I first started illustrating, I wrote a post titled, "When in doubt, cut it out," which emphasized how helpful cutting paper can be for shaping my characters. Since cleaning up my studio space a couple weeks ago, another perk for paper scraps would be free, no-pressure experimenting.
Although the difficult-to-cut corners, accidentally-torn details, and bends and warps of the paper can frustrate the heck out of me, these same problems liberate me. I've been treating it as a big Who Cares exercise. And, as the composition is whisked away by my cat jumping on my desk, I feel unattached and able to try something else.
This week's Illustration Friday topic was "Hat."
I first sketched a bird with an actual hat. Then I thought of the Eurasian hoopoe that I recently drew for a client, and the cool crown/hat that it already has.
Using the scans of vintage drawings, I assembled this black and white bird with a hoopoe-style headdress. I also added a vignette effect to give it a slightly creepy, noir-esque tone.
I haven't worked with birds lately (possibly my favorite subject ever), so I decided to focus on tropical birds. I looked through various images, and considered a flamingo collage, but then I found a beautiful shot of a toucan. Below is my collage inspired by that photo...
On Friday, I submitted my entry for the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search. This was my third year of creating work for this competition, and it proved to be as challenging and rewarding as ever.
This year, we were given a story about a fictitious young woman who lived in Brooklyn. The brief showed us a picture of her (and her clothing style), where she shopped, where she worked, products she'd buy, products she sold in her shop, the food truck she stopped at, and so on. With this type of person in mind, the assignment was to create a patterned sneaker that she could wear when she bicycled to work. The patterned shoe also needed to incorporate at least one word, hand-written or an actual font.
Although I really liked this approach of getting a visual story about the client, I did find it tricky to create something for a person I couldn't really relate to, while still keeping myself in the art. So I focused on whatever images I was drawn to in the brief.
In her shop, she sold some darker, occult-type of items, so I decided to go with a crow theme. They are one of my favorite birds – strong, smart and ominous, and I knew I would enjoy drawing them.
She also sold some pretty, Parisian-style gifts, which made me envision using a loose, dreamy watercolor style for my pattern.
I drew my shoe template with a sharpie, painted several crows (you can see one of them here), and this is the mockup I submitted, followed by the actual pattern...
I'm loving my new Artwin watercolor pen. I find it lends itself to the quick gesture sketches that I really enjoy creating, and the set up and clean up is minimal.
Here's a crow I painted yesterday in the few minutes before dusk turned to night...
I thought I'd forever be a Pigma Micron and Sharpie marker person, but I've found a new love: the Copic sketch marker. The brush side moves so smoothly on the paper that it feels like it's leading my sketches, and I've found myself drawing a lot more the past few days...
Yesterday I completed my April assignment for Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells Bootcamp course. We were asked to create a 20x30 poster for her upcoming event, the Global Art Gathering, which is in Brighton on June 12. We were given the MATS color palette to work with, and some required copy, but the rest was pretty open.
The color palette threw me, as I was unable to use textures in a way that I am used to (while maintaining the specified colors). I tried some new techniques in Photoshop to get more texture, but ultimately, I kept it simple and went with this for my submission...
Although we moved out of Brooklyn almost two years ago, I was thrilled to be able to participate in Bay Ridge's annual Empty Bowls fundraiser again, which is coming up on May 2nd. I didn't make it to the Brooklyn glazing party, but I went to a nearby DIY shop, had these fired there, and just shipped my bowls to the event.
We recently lost an incredibly special little girl in our community, and my son has been frequently asking questions about the afterlife. These questions were on my mind too when I glazed these bowls, and I've tried to incorporate a feeling of expansion and optimism.