Monday, April 14, 2014

Experimenting on Craft Day

Do you ever talk with fellow artists about how much fun it would be to share tools and techniques and just play for an afternoon? On Saturday, several Austin illustrators got to do just that when the talented and organized Marsha Riti made a good idea into an afternoon of craft at the lovely home of Luz Marie Iturbe. So much fun to try out media that you might never invest in just to play! With everyone bringing in a little something to share, you realize which tools are worth getting for your own studio.

I am now in love with liquid watercolor. I had one bottle that I never really used; but getting to play with the whole set of colors suddenly opens up possibilities. I will be making a Jerry's trip this week.craftday1
The effect when you drop the color onto wet watercolor paper is pretty divine. On the right, some liquid watercolor had dried on Yupo watercolor paper (propylene) and reminded me of Fiver's visions in Watership Down (saw the movie at a young age, and it stuck with me).
Another artist brought in tools to do impressing on paper, which adds line and texture under the graphite or colored pencil that follows. I had some fun making wave patterns. The alligator is done in watercolor pencil.
Trying out some liquid frisket to create texture on an orange. And after using a piece of the Yupo paper as a palette for the liquid graphite I was playing with, the resulting spot reminded me of a gorilla head.
Thanks to Marsha for organizing us and to Luz Marie for being such a wonderful host (with a totally fun trampoline)! And thanks to the other illustrators for bringing and sharing your tools of the trade.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Part of a promo with my fellow Girllustrators. A bit of Valentine's silliness.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

The Secret Garden Nesting Dolls

This post could be subtitled: "How I learned That I Know Nothing About Acrylic Paint Or Painting On 3-D Objects." IMG_6864 So, I had this idea several months ago that illustrated nesting dolls might be a fun project to do as a silent auction donation for the upcoming SCBWI Austin Conference. A couple of other illustrators decided to take on the challenge, too (you can see an adorable set by the talented Marsha Riti here). nesting1.1 Things with my set started off promising enough. The robin and the key were a pretty straightforward choice with The Secret Garden theme (one of my favorite books). The largest nesting doll, which is the garden in bloom, ended up being the most challenging. nesting2 After ditching the randomly placed flowers I pencilled in, I decided to use a lamp from my grandmother as an inspiration point. I went on to repaint sections of this doll at least 4 times. Lesson: opaque acrylic craft paint is nothing like watercolor and wants to clump up on your brush any chance it gets. IMG_3953 Above you can see the attempt at translating a 2-D sketch onto a 3-D object. IMG_6857 And the completed set, after two full afternoon sessions and lots of revisiting. This was taken just before they got their clear coat, which made them look super-glossy like real nesting dolls! They're drying for the next 24 hours, and I hope to post some photos of the final set before conference. Overall lesson: while these did turn out to be fun, they would have been even more fun if I had built in a little more learning curve time.