Friday, April 18, 2014

50 Shades of Taupe Assignment

Last month in Lilla Roger's Make Art that Sells Bootcamp we were given an additional assignment to work on during the break for April.  We were challenged to play with neutral colors and the first part of the assignment was to paint 50 shades of Taupe. I pulled out my Holbein gouache paints and yummy Arches watercolor paper and went to town mixing up these delicately hued colors.
Lilla encouraged us to make an affirmation using our new found color palette.  I've been smitten with this quote I recently discovered from Van Gogh and decided this was the message that most spoke to me.
I enjoyed painting the quote so much that I did one in another color palette that was shared with us. I love the color palettes from bootcamp because they really push me out of my comfort zone. Now to hang these in my studio!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Printables

Over on the Sketchables this week we are sharing Easter Printables.
First I created a memory card game with an Easter Egg Hunt theme.  I miss hunting for Easter Eggs - my teenagers are long passed that tradition and we don't have many small ones in our family - everyone is growing up. I still dye eggs, sometimes the teens join me.  Teens are funny, they don't want to be treated like kids but there is something comforting about holding on to those childhood traditions.  

And since I had all these fun icons from the card game I decided to design some cute little cupcake toppers too. Hmm, vanilla bean cupcakes.  My only regret - no jelly beans to include in this photo.

Download the printable Egg Hunt Memory Game here and the cupcake toppers here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Make Art that Sells - 1st Class Assignment Complete!

I feel like there should be some fan-fare, a marching band, some fireworks - something to show you how excited I am that I have put together this collection of images from my first assignment for Lilla Rogers' Make Art that Sells Bootcamp! 

I had a little breakthrough about making images for this class.  I separated my sketches into the major images and painted those, from there I made them into images on clear backgrounds in Photoshop so I could play with colors, scale and layering.  It's a really different way of thinking for me, but it opened up a whole lot of possibilities for designing images for products. I've also been painting and finding my way with gouache - there was lots of light bulb moments this week!  Next on my to-do list is to figure out how to make repeating patterns in Photoshop.

If you scroll down and see where I was at a few days ago, you'll understand my excitement. I learned so much in just the first 3 weeks, I can't imagine where I will be in 5 months from now at the end of this class. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Make Art That Sells Bootcamp

So I took the plunge last month and signed up for Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells Bootcamp.  This is a 6 month class to build up your portfolio. We are finishing up our final projects for the first month - cell phone covers with clock designs.  I love the class, I'm learning so, so much - but boy is it a stretch creatively and professionally.

My goal for the class is create a portfolio that bridges the gap between my bead designs and my illustration.  So I'm visiting the themes and motifs used in my beads, but in watercolor and gouache instead of clay and paint. The painting above was a warm up before I jumped into the assignment. I needed to have a practice piece that I could play with and not feel any pressure.  I designed something that I'd want on my Ipod, which is always by my side!

Oh, getting fancy - I did my first mock-up. I have so much to learn it hurts.  Like, hey - try putting your name it on Heather - sheesh!

I did several pieces, but this one is my favorite so far. I'm going to play a little more before our deadline and see what else I can come up with and how to work it into more portfolio pieces.  Like this could be a wedding design of some kind.  I just need to wrap my brain around how to think like that - with icons and borders and such.  Not my language, but I'm learning.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gardening Postcard

This is my latest personal project.  I've had these sketches done since last year, but just now pulled them out to paint.  Some projects are late bloomers. I think I'm going to put him on a journal, he looks like he would make a good garden journal cover, don't you think?

This is the second piece, I'm also working on a third one of the garden completely in bloom.  I'm so ready for spring.  I can see why gardeners spend the winter planning, hope is good when winter seems to go on forever!

The final postcard.  I'm not a designer, so I keep things as simple as possible.  
And in black and white, which is what I used on the back of my postcard.

Now to finish my new website and polish up my mailing list, because it's been years since I've sent out a postcard!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pet Portrait - Westie

This is a custom pet portrait that I created for my aunt.  This is Fintan and he dreams of squirrels as they run around his woodland home.  And wimpers when he can't chase them, he just knows if he could get loose outside he could catch one and play with it.

I'm digging into gouache and having fun with this new medium.  Lots of new ideas to explore!

Monday, January 13, 2014

I Just Like to Make Things too!

I have been spending my weekends and evenings sketching and painting since the New Year.  Seeing yet another year pass where I didn't chase after my dreams got to me this year. Enough to make some serious changes in my schedule.  In fact, right now my job is just make stuff, as much stuff as possible, as quickly as possible and have fun doing it.  If it's not good enough yet, it will be soon because eventually I will find my stride, I will develop my language in paint and pen.  Just like I did with block printing. I am jumping in and doing my job, making and submitting. I'm out to find my joy and that's some serious business and there is no time to waste!

I bought the book, I Just Like to Make Things by Lila Rogers for my Kindle the other day, I'm thinking I may need to order a real copy of it soon! (Sometimes that happens when I buy an artsy book, I need to hold it in my hands!) I just started reading it and it's already kicking my brain into gear and has me super excited about illustrating, painting and playing!

Has the new year brought a new resolve for your career?