Friday, December 31, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Resolutions

I will not cut my bangs, I will not cut my bangs, I will not cut my bangs...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Mail

Are YOUR cards in the mail?

Being photographs, I don't think these technically qualify for IF, so I'm not linking them up, but do check out Illustration Friday for some other fabulous interpretations.  Maybe I'll have some time later this week to come up with something else!  ;)  HA!

Merry Christmas, my bloggy friends!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Prehistoric

Yep, I know... a real stretch for IF's prehistoric.  I'm having one of those days in the creative cycle where ideas are supposed to be formulating and licensable art is supposed to be flowing out of me in preparation for a big trade show in January, but instead I'm pacing around, scratching with pencils like I've never drawn before, being distracted by plans for, oh, only a major holiday coming up, and scrounging through the kids' Halloween candy in hopes of finding something that will snap me out of it.  (I even found a box of prehistoric register marks and made a snowflake out of them before I decided that was just too ridiculous to post.)

So I'm going with the idea that the concept of PEACE was the ideal long before we started keeping track of  our shenanigans by painting them on cave walls and inscribing them into clay tablets.  Mostly I'm posting this to get my blog looking all Christmassy again.  (And, this guy was once very good to me in retail sales-- he attended a bunch of holiday parties as paper goods, and made the rounds on Christmas letters as stationery, so he deserves a little attention.  He's nowhere to be found now, which makes him old, if not prehistoric.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Burning

I'd like to say this isn't autobiographical...

...but I can't.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Afterwards

Once, after being out most of the day, we came home to find that our dog, Maya, had pulled an 8 inch run out of our berber carpet that spanned the width of the family room.  Had we been gone longer, I wonder if THIS might have happened afterwards...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Spent

Did you ever feel like you wanted to clean the house rather than draw?  Nah, me either.  But it is time well spent.  Don't you just feel more on top of things when your house is clean??  More productive, creative, even better looking?

So here's my thought process today as I mopped the kitchen floor and cleaned the bathrooms (because it does have to be done eventually, right?  By somebody...)  I thought, I could render a beautiful family moment for Illustration Friday's prompt Spent-- and believe me when I say I got all choked up and teary-eyed over it-- or I could do a quick sketch of a mop and bucket.  That, and a really big bag of fun-size treats on the counter, led me to remember just about the best Halloween costume that ever appeared on our doorstep, which was this:

Yes, it was a 12-year-old-ish boy dressed as a janitor with a leash threaded through a wrapping paper tube and a shaggy dog as a mop!  I will never forget that kid.

So there you go, a post that is a bit of a stretch for IF, but timely for Halloween, and my house smells like lemons.  Nyah, nyah, na, na, na!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How I Work in Photoshop

Teri asked in my last post if I created my Wedding Alphabet in Photoshop.  While I usually paint my art traditionally to start out, I always use Photoshop at some point, even if it is only to adjust the colors and clean up brush hairs, leftover pencil marks and unintentional spots (you know, where the paint isn't completely dissolved, I dropped my brush, spilled my coffee, whatever.)

However, I also use Photoshop a great deal to create new art out of already existing art.  This works especially well for making coordinating patterns for fabric designs, or reformatting a design into a line of party goods.  Or, in the case above, creating a new design altogether.

My husband says I have a "deep portfolio", and in this case, I started out with this:

This purple background is probably my most handy piece of art.  It turns up everywhere!  All it needs is a little color adjustment.  In Photoshop, it's the IMAGE-- ADJUSTMENTS-- HUE/SATURATION menu.  Play around with those sliders and you can get almost any color.  So above it became a yummy muted brown.

Next I needed some bread.  The main image came from my Name Above All Names Alphabet, and all that was necessary was a little cropping and sizing:

For the large background bread I used a section of my Gourmet Alphabet.  There are many ways to separate an icon from its background, but I find it easiest to use the eraser tool.  Crop closely, zoom waaaay in, and use a small size.  (Of course, use the largest size possible until you get close to the edge, silly!)  

Since I always scan and save my art at at least 600 dpi, enlarging this tiny bread for the large central image was no problem.  I used EDIT-- TRANSFORM-- ROTATE to change it to horizontal, and then adjusted its opacity over in the upper right corner of the layers menu.  I didn't want that big bread stealing the show, just hanging out quietly and unobtrusively in the background.  (Kind of like me at a party!)

Next came the wheat flourishes along the edge.  They came from this one:

 But, as you can see, they aren't painted in the top design!  HA!  I found a sneaky little tool called the graphic pen.  It's on the Filter menu.  FILTER-- SKETCH-- GRAPHIC PEN.  You'll want to select a color on the tool bar first, and experiment a little with the contrast (IMAGE-- ADJUSTMENTS-- LEVELS or IMAGE-- ADJUSTMENTS-- BRIGHTNESS/ CONTRAST) to get the detail you want.


You will need to flatten it, select an area of white with the magic wand tool, then SELECT-- SIMILAR to select all the white, then SELECT-- INVERSE to move only the graphic pen area over to your main image.  You'll notice I used the rotate command above here also.

The little white wine glass was created the same way and once moved over, changed to white by using IMAGE-- ADJUSTMENTS-- HUE/ SATURATION and moving the slider to the end of LIGHTNESS.  I'm sure there are many other ways to do that, this worked well in this case.  Same goes for the white diamond border, which originally came from here:

(OK, maybe just disregard all I've said up until now, because I just deleted the actual painting that I took this crop from-- from the Maxtor, which is our main storage.  Hmmmm... I believe it may still be on my old computer, or in another folder, or at least I can re-scan the actual art, because this one was painted straight-up traditionally!  Save your files MULTIPLE TIMES, folks!)

Now that I've regained my composure, the last step was adding type using the type tool, and some opacity adjustment.  Save it all in layers, for revisions later!

(Just in case you were wondering, I don't really memorize keyboard shortcuts. Lots of times I have a cat on my lap, which means one-handed clicking is easier.  And I switch back and forth between the wacom tablet and the mouse, because each one makes the tools work slightly differently.)

After all that,  I didn't really answer Teri's question, did I?  The answer is, No, the Wedding Alphabet was only minimally processed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Racing

Let's go!  The future awaits!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Spooky

OK, not so spooky, really, but very befitting of the season that the word spooky conjures up.  I don't get much spookier than this-- I'd keep myself up at night, and we ran out of monster-spray years ago.   In the meantime, bring on the goodies!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Beneath

Before looking, place your hands securely over your ears and repeat after me:  "LALALALALALALALALA!", or YOU might end up beneath the sea!

Here's the rest of the alphabet:

And the final result as cross-stitch:

 So long, Summer-- catch ya on the flip side!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Dessert

Well, well, well, just about my favorite word of all time!!  Remember the triple dip snow cone?  He evolved into a series.  These are a few of his friends:

And he got a little bit of a makeover himself:
  Now, go make yourself a sundae!  (None for me, thanks, I had a big day yesterday, and I'm giving it up!  For a while...)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Atmosphere

It only takes a few colorful friends to create a party atmosphere.
(or, a big star on the calendar marked "back-to-school"-- I'm just sayin')

Friday, August 6, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Caged

Ugh.  Lousy prompt.  Depressing.  But!

 Definition #10 on for "cage" is:  a loose, sheer, or lacy overdress worn with a slip or close-fitting dress.  HA!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Artificial

After the incident with the plastic mushrooms,
Chef Shiitake decided never to use artificial ingredients in his signature soups again.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Double (as in Trouble!)

When the man-of my -dreams and I got married, we decided to wait a while to have children, but we immediately adopted two Samoyeds (seemingly moments after the wedding).  It wasn't long before we realized what we were in for.  According to breed characteristics, Samoyeds are prone to run (they are sled dogs, after all) bark a lot, have separation anxiety and are-- get this-- destructive.   

Cody and Malachi proved themselves to be true Samoyeds in every way, especially the destructive part.  They got into the kitchen cabinets, so we put baby locks on them.  They broke the baby locks and chewed up cans.  Malachi finally got crated after we sold our house and he tore up the dishwasher.

Cody and Mal have both gone on to romp in the daisies, but not until after 16 years of good times.  We miss them dreadfully.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Every once in a while I go narcissurfing to check up on my designs-- whether or not they came out yet, or if they are still on the market.  Here's a new one I hadn't seen yet that I found yesterday!  You may recognize it from the link on my last post-- so carry on with the breakfast theme!!  (Although I'd really like to do a repeat pattern of bacon, eggs and pancakes-- how cute that could be!)

I still have a case of hermititis. (Although now I have one son home, queue up the Harry Potter movies!) I really am almost  finished-- it's another alphabet for a cross-stitch kit-- I just love Design Works!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Breakfast

Ooooo.... I love this prompt!  I could have heaps of fun with it, but I am in the midst of something a client is expecting, and my family has gone on a "guys expedition" leaving me to finish it in peace. (My default is set at  "hermit", so I love that!)

Soooo...  I thought I'd share with you a series of breakfast patterns.

These coordinate with a design I have previously posted (and my blog-- it's called illustrative recycling, no?  ;)  And here's one more, which actually belongs to another series, but doesn't look half bad with this one:

Back to work for me!  Queue up the Law and Order reruns!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Diary

Dear Diary,
The Islands are AMAZING!  Who would have ever dreamed a vacation like this could even be possible?  I'm so out of my element!  With all this relaxation, I just might melt!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Illustration Friday-- Giant

As the youngest of nine children, Irwin never really minded the hand-me-downs.  He always had a sneaking suspicion that he was Mom's favorite.

Saturday, June 12, 2010