Just a fews days left to purchase this season’s cards to benefit KIVA.
While I do not enjoy selling anything, I would like you all to know that a very small purchase of even five dollars will allow you to to contribute to this fine organization. KIVA supports individuals desperately trying to support their families by administering small business loans with your purchase dollars.
I’ve contributed these three images to the mix, but the collection is varied and beautiful. I usually purchase and then gift the cards at Holiday time.
Thanks for your consideration.
For those who are interested, the cards are donated by women from all over the globe who contribute to Vision and Verb. V&V compiles each purchase to reach twenty-five dollars, then sends the full amount to KIVA. Enjoy the V&V posts. The are always a great read.
©Karen McRae, 2012
Gifted artist/photographer Karen McRae honored me with an exciting opportunity to collaborate. She offered two beautiful photographs (above) of abstract water reflections to change, embellish or transform in any way I chose. A gift like this is extremely exciting! Because I am so in awe of Karen’s work, I did not want to interfere with the images too much. I knew right away that I wanted to maintain much of the structure and color. In fact I did not introduce any new color, and used only what I found within the images. I worked digitally in layers directly over Karen’s work, not touching the original but taking my cues from it.
Each photograph presents its own special charm. After turning it on its side, the negative space in the “frog” piece spoke to me immediately of dreamy water creatures in motion and rippling below the surface.
The “figure” piece was quite the opposite. It was its fluid line and dynamic composition that captured my attention. The swirls appeared to me as smokey figures frozen in perilous escape. The smoke alternately dissipates and collects, providing just enough presence to tell its story.
I’m a great admirer of Karen’s superlative work. You will be too when you link to her blog here-Enjoy! Thanks for thinking of me Karen!
“Caravela/McRae’s work investigates the nuances of modulations through the use of slow motion and close-ups which emphasize the Symbiotic nature of digital media. Caravela/McRae explores abstract and shaping scenery as motifs to describe the idea of infinite space. Using water loops, non-linear narratives, and allegorical images as patterns, Caravela/McRae creates meditative environments which suggest the expansion of space…“
Elena Caravela & Karen McRae, 2012
Because Spring is part two of a four-part project, I had be sure that the choices I made for this piece will harmonize with the previous work.
I have a very clear vision of the overall project, and have decided to contrast the moods of the seasons greatly. On the other hand, I will needed to organize specific consistencies.
*minimizing of neck and body
*some sort of collar appropriate to each season
*the same necklace representing nature’s hardships
*long hair with a life of its own
*a certain amount of dimension and texture in the back round
*a value gradient dark to light from bottom to top
*one element of disguise
*clear difference in position of the head and eyes reflecting the qualities of each season
(*perhaps a border when all four have been completed)
Below are the steps I took to stylize Ms. Spring, ultimately leading to the finish (above).
Spring, It’s the second in my Four Seasons project. Last time with Digital Winter , I explored an overview of the digital painting via Photoshop layers. The focus of Spring is painting the skin. I’m using Photoshop CS4 and Wacom Intuos 4. I’m still working on the finish, but here’s essentially, how I’ve painted the skin thus far.
Above is a screenshot of the basic Photoshop underpainting of “Winter”. Below is a visual tutorial of the painting process. Please feel free to ask any questions that may come to mind, since my text explanation is spare.
ANOTHER new project:) Four seasons, beginning with winter. The subject for each season is a lovely young woman. I chose to paint this series digitally, while my oil portraits are drying between layers. Next post will feature a layer by layer separation and progression, so stand by.
I’ve been entranced with the 3×3 Illustration Annual since I first discovered it one Saturday in Barnes and Noble. Naturally, I sat with it in the B&N cafe enjoying the eye candy more than my beverage. My book wish list is always lengthy, but I bumped book title #1 and bought the Annual. Since then, I’ve poured over the work, and offer it to young artists to demonstrate what’s going on in contemporary illustration.
Summer 2011 I received an email from Charles Hively informing me that one of the illustrations I submitted was chosen for the 2012 Annual, and I was to send a final jpeg for print. The email came at a tough time for my family and my attention was elsewhere. I sent off a jpeg and later worried that I’d sent an inferior copy…(I aways have multiples and I’m not so great at labeling them-that’s gonna change).
A few days ago, the book arrived. And while I will never be entirely pleased with any piece I make, I am honored to be included in this publication. I’m still not sure which copy I sent, probably not the best one, but C’est la vie.
Thanks Charles Hively and the judges. Right now, I’m burning to make a new piece to submit sometime in the near future.
A little girl wielding a magic crayon with a lovely point, expertly sharpened by the built-in sharpener in the 64 pack… of Crayola’s, of course.
The third illustration in my not yet written, middle grade novel. So many projects, so little time:)
- Mysterious Lorica (elenacaravela.wordpress.com)
PAUL MOVES ON
Ah, what one must bear. After the disheartening encounter with Malamar (who I may eventually forgive), I felt the overriding need to stretch my limbs and rest a bit. I commenced to lay directly on the floor, because my grandfather claims there’s nothing better for the back. Just as I felt a true desire to drift off to sleep, a blur of vermillion passed before my eyes not two inches above my head! As one might imagine, my interest was peaked. My weary eyes fixed on a ladybug buzzing and circling above me, obviously signaling wildly for my attention. Well, I mused, finally someone who possesses the good taste and decency to engage in proper dialogue. I paused politely, allowing the ladybug to catch her breath and introduce herself. To my surprise I learned that my partner in verbal exchange was known as Paul. How very pedestrian of me to expect my companion to be a LADY bug. Live and learn. I may comment comfortably now, but I must admit that at the time I was indeed flummoxed and chagrined. It’s little wonder that Paul took exception to my ignorance and resumed his quest for a more sophisticated ear.
I am abashed.
To be continued….
I like a nice rat. Charming conversationalists if you don’t mind the defensive tone. I met a rat quite recently whose knowledge of subterranean culture was really quite extraordinary. His opinions regarding a great variety of issues, I found to be both informed and refreshing. This particular rat also understood the importance of attentiveness in an engaging tête-à-tête. As well-traveled as he was, he never for a moment hogged the conversation or took on airs. A great shame my cat Princess did not share our camaraderie. She was terribly rude, and I believe she caused him to take his leave prematurely. It’s really too bad. Apparently, Princess informed my mother of the encounter. Mother forced me to spend the remainder of the day indoors. My little brother is a very poor substitute for such illuminating communion.
I am bereft.
Never let it be said however, that I am a quitter, nor am I a complainer, therefore I sat myself down, took stock of my options and sought a suitable partner for an informative one on one. Malamar, our resident bunny rounded the corner avoiding the attentions of my brother who was apparently in hot pursuit of Malamar, until the hideous theme of a television program, that my brother for some reason enjoys, became audible. Brother was transfixed by the magnetic rays of the television; a largely sophomoric device. I therefore, secured the opportunity to invite our comely lagomorph to a raucous discussion regarding the unspeakable practice of encasing miniature bunnies in chocolate in an effort to delight unsuspecting children with an Easter “treat”.
I myself have never sanctioned such a practice. Perhaps the topic was insensitive, because despite my attempts to put Malamar at ease by immersing myself in his cultural stance, Malamar continued on his course, overtly ignoring my invitations to commune. I’m sure that he was able to hear me, due to the ample size of his ears. The evidence that perhaps Malamar took particular issue with my topic of discussion materialized in the form of small pellets that he left in his wake.
I am offended.
Very recently two illustrators whom I admire, inspired me to paint a steampunk piece for kids. Now, I really dislike painting mechanical symmetrical elements, but I do enjoy the look of shiny geometric details. So I decided to simplify, take it slowly, and allow Photoshop’s filters to do the heavy lifting. I also relied heavily upon layer style to lend me an outer glow and to bevel and emboss.
I did mention that I was taking this slowly. I’m clearly missing both overt Victorian and punk flavor here, but the only creatures not propelled by steam are the wind-up angelfish and the starfish. I’ll get a little more hardcore next time.
The third in my “Bug” series inspired by Micro Cosmos. A little color this time along with a little sympathy for the “unsuspecting”.
I’ve played with a single scanned textural element in an other wise all digital painting. In this case, you guessed it, it’s the mountain. I created it with acrylics on watercolor paper, scanned it and popped it into this digital painting.
This “Mountaintop” piece is available as an 11″x 14″ high quality print.
I’m happy to say that some of my illustrations are featured in this month’s Synchronized Chaos. It’s a refreshing online magazine bringing art, literature, science, culture, and travel together in a positive, informative, and interesting fashion. (I’ve just blatantly reiterated the masthead message with a bit of an editorial spin.)
This months’ focus is Energy in Imagination. I’m pleased that my work was chosen to appear in this particular issue. Also included are book reviews, poetry, and an informative new tech report. I enjoy consuming varied bite-sized nuggets of art and nonfiction condensed so that the material is enjoyable but not superficial. I think that Synchronized Chaos delivers.
Artists and writers in particular should check out the zine. The editors welcome submissions and clearly outline their guidelines. Just two easy clicks;)
We’ve got ’em. Just this afternoon, the sun came out and the maple leaves are doing their best to shine.
Won’t be long now till Harvey tries his best to make his dreams come true. Not to worry though, because he is almost always thwarted by nature’s balance and the boundaries of our kitty enclosure.
Happy New Year! I’m beginning 2011 with a family pulling together. The family pet is the center of concern in this spot illustration. Often, affection for the non- human being in the family can bring siblings together like nothing else. I’m not sure what type of creature this is, but these kids are willing to face certain peril to protect her.
In the interest of strengthening and varying my portfolio of illustration for children, I noticed a shortage of joyful images in my book. I browsed through Google images hunting for inspiration. I found a photo of a group of happy children holding hands and racing round a circle in “ring around the rosy” fashion. They certainly looked happy, so I took it as inspiration. I put the inspiration aside, and happy children morphed into happy imaginary bunnies.
As the painting started to take shape, some of the bunnies began to take on more complex expressions. Maybe there’s a fox or an irate farmer stalking the warren. An intruder threatening the lettuce stash? Perhaps a territorial dispute. Not so uniformly happy any more, but maybe a little more interesting?
Happy Bunny Sketch:
My friend Rachel is an ever so creative visual artist
and writer. She painted “Katgirl and Dustbunny Kat” in a couple of hours as a gift for her aunt.
Rachel is new to the digital world, but she’s quick on the uptake- a digital natural. They’ll be much more digital Rachel to come.
I think I’m finished with my assignment. After deciding what Sally Gal might look like, the most difficult part was to focus on which emotion to portray on this little girl’s face, since this character feels many things in this scene. I’ve included character sketches of Sally Gal’s subtly of mood and her cousin Wild Cat’s winning ways.
On a scale of one to ten, I feel this spot illustration rates about a seven and a half on the “feel- ok- about -it meter”. The painting is digital, so if this were a “real” assignment, I could make changes easily if asked. For instance, the ribbon on the left could be resized or eliminated with a click. Of course, text fills the left hand side of the page and wraps to the top of the page on the right. Here, I’ve included a light blue gutter for orientation purposes. I’ve provided a full one quarter inch bleed all round in the final piece.
I’m looking forward to the feedback, because this workshop is about learning. Really looking forward to sharing my portfolio and meeting the art directors. Interested to spend time and speak with other illustrators. But, there are so many images floating around in my head, that it is time to move on to the next project…had a dream about a blue squid-like patterned creature that replicates children…
Halloween:A little scary and a little exciting.
October is Halloween’s month. Halloween makes anything seem possible if one is willing to take a risk. October’s crisp breezes taunt us with possibilities. But, as the days grow shorter, the allure of October warns that opportunities may soon be waning. All too soon, crisp will become cold and winter will shroud our adventurous impulses with a desire for warmth and security.
Before November thwarts us, release the devilish muses niggling at your artistic sensibilities, Come on, let’s travel to the space of an alternate universe before it’s too late. This is a place of endless possibilities. Take the risk. Go to your computer, find a paint application, take the mouse into your hand and draw! If you can stand it, try the color panel. Adjust your line. Warning#1: We are entering dangerous territory. You may need to purchase Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, or spring for an upgrade. Warning#2: Once you’ve entered this place, the purchase of a Wacom tablet may lurk in multiple dimensions of your future. The faint of heart will turn away now. But if you are fearless, we can support one another and explore the unknown together.
“Scary” digital tutorials will be offered throughout October. Send me evidence of your digital explorations and I will post them. Send me comments or questions if you dare.
Stay with me! I’m afraid of the dark!