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Posts tagged ‘Digital painting’

Palette Creatures Released!

b*fish copy

New palette creatures are now swimming in an alternate setting.   For those not familiar, palette creatures are colorful shapes that actually show up on my watercolor palette after a watercolor painting session.  When I spot them, I take a photo and play with them in Photoshop.  Some creatures require more attention than others.  This lot demanded a little more nudging than some of their predecessors.

The Egg

*begg3

I fought with this bird-child piece for quite a while. The composition is strange, but trust me, it was stranger before I cropped it.  Thanks to my son, who is an excellent critic, I was able to move away from elements I was hanging onto, and make changes for the better.  I need some time away from this piece to effect more changes.

And, it’s blue:)

Adolescence

badol

Some of the little bird-children are growing up;)

New Bird-Child

b3-7*nest

I’m still thinking on this one while working on three more.  But, this one is closest to finish and I wanted to share it with you.

Bird-Child Series

bnewbirds

This is the second birdie child-vison influenced image.

Most of the elements in this piece began as really loose watercolor paintings. I brought them into Photoshop and digitally placed and painted.

I almost always put in a little more work after I show you what I’m up too. This piece is no exception, but I need a little time to know just what I want to do.

Vision

bVisionfinishsmprint

I woke up with an image reflected on my retinas. I had an overwhelming urge to realize the vision.  It had to be dreamy-loose but also had to adhere to my vision.

I began with a watercolor sketch, but the color was too vibrant.  It needed to be somber. I took a photo of the watercolor and opened it up in Photoshop, then decided to desaturate it.  I painted a very simple back round so the bird-girl takes the spotlight.  A new series is born.

The watercolor sketch:

bbird

Fall Portrait

bfall

Here is Fall, just as we come to the official close of the season. You many recall my  Winter  and  Spring  portraits. I’ve only Summer to go, and the Four Seasons will be available as prints.

Below you can see the progression of the face. Nothing fancy, just using the brush tool in Photoshop to act as a real brush, accomplished with layers and changes in opacity.   You can see that I was playing with the idea of birds, but decided to keep the portrait very simple. I may fuss with Fall a little bit more.    Thank you to my beautiful model.

fallprogression

Reflection On Reflections:A Collaboration

                                                                                               ©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!

Artist’s Statement:

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

 

Digital Painting Tutorial Part 3

Final “Spring”

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.

They are:

*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).

Digital Painting Tutorial/Spring Part 2

Okey Dokey, part two is mostly about the way I manipulated my photos to provide a back round and a dress for Ms. Spring.  There have to be myriad ways to deal with photos incorporated into digital paintings.  I’m simply revealing the way I went about it in this piece.  And, I have no problem revealing this to you.  I think that the photos in this context will get the job done better than my painting of said areas.

Four Seasons:Spring Tutorial

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.

Who Are YoU?

A recognizable style.  Most artists have one or two.  Many work most of their lives mastering one medium.  Often one is a fine artist OR makes commercial work. I know this is rapidly changing. The lines between disciplines are blurring and that thrills me!  While I am not competent in any discipline other than visual art, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy.

I paint portraits, illustrate children’s books, wrote a kid’s book, make fine art, teach, and instruct a creative expression class on a hospital psychiatric floor.  I have painted silk, run workshops, made street art and illustrated brochures. Each endeavour delivers whatever the market will bear monetarily, but all inform and excite me (except for the brochures).

I work in oils, acrylic, digital painting, simple printmaking, silk, and pastel, and play with oil sticks, watercolor, clay, wire, photography, multi media, collage and just about any material I can get my hands on, including beet juice and congealed butter in my dinner plate.

The downside of course, takes me back to my first paragraph;little to no recognizable style. Even within a given medium, I’m inspired to experiment with different ways of working.  I laugh when I look at this blog’s  Illustration Friday archives just after clicking the tab on my Pause Series.   I think I’m still fishing around for one thing that suits me best. In the meantime, expect images of any sort from this blog.  At least my inconsistency will keep us all guessing;)

Digital Painting Tutorial

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.

Digital Winter

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.

Intention

Intention began as an Illustration Friday prompt.   It didn’t take long to realize that what I was making was decidedly not an illustration. My intention-derailed.  I should back up and mention that Intention started as a watercolor, though not a good watercolor.   I scanned it and finished painting digitally.  So much for my initial intention.  Next, I felt that the white space fell flat.  I needed some texture, so I dug through photo textures I create for this purpose.  I’m always drawn to fabric, and there in the reference were three interesting images to layer over the painting. I couldn’t quite decide, so I created three versions.

Intention vs process:)

3×3 Illustration Annual #8 -I’m In It!

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.

Lorica #3

The third illustration in my not yet written, middle grade novel.  So many projects, so little time:)

Katniss

Do book cover illustrations influence the way you envision a character before you read a book?  Does an actor cast as the character from your favorite book embody your idea of the character in a film?

My niece and I recently discussed these questions. We decided that we try not to allow an illustrator or casting director to change our vision of our favorite literary characters. So, as an illustrator, I’m turning the tables and presenting Katniss, the main character from The Hunger Games, the way I see her

Dianne, my wonderful niece, who turns twelve years old today, may not share my vision, but I can’t wait to find out what she thinks.  Dianne, this post is in honor of your birthday. You inspired it. Please think of it as a kind of a “post (Birthday) card”.   Let me know if my illustration looks at all like your vision of Katniss.    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

*Check out Wikimedia Commons to view how others see Katniss

Mysterious Lorica

There is a story behind this painting.  I posted this piece first on my Illustration Friday  page for the topic mysterious, but I its first obligation is to serve as an illustration for a story floating around in my head.  This story will convert itself into text after I have a few more illustrations worked out.  This is the second piece.  I’ve a third in the works.  You’ll see that one soon too. When this story fully unveils itself to me,  I will reveal it to you too.  Stay tuned.

G- rated Steampunk Mermaids

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.

Caught in the Flashlight

The third in my “Bug” series inspired by Micro Cosmos.  A little color this time along with a little sympathy for the “unsuspecting”.

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