Those Red Cowboy Boots I've Always Wanted...

I finished up the character I was working on in my last blog post for my Skillshare class! I am pretty happy with my little cowboy boot girl for a first attempt at rendering a character. I decided to give her sassy red cowboy boots since I have always wanted a pair! I was having so much fun playing with her details in photoshop that I made two versions trying out different colors, clothes styles and background ideas. I can see how it would be totally addictive to get into character design and start playing with whole worlds for your people to explore. Now back to MY real world this morning, and onto some business card designs! Feel free to drop me a comment...I'd love to see where I can improve. I feel like I can definitely work more on developing the face and hands...those were the hardest to get right. 

Facing one of my artistic fears...

Detail of jumper.

For a long time I've generally avoided making artwork depicting people or characters, because basically it terrifies me. I have this deep seated fear that I am just not one of those artists that can draw people or make faces. Soooo...I have a potential children's book project on the horizon that would require me to create sweet beautiful characters and I know it is time to get to work on pushing myself past this hangup. While I was taking one of my MATS classes last year, a fellow classmate, Ohn Mar Win, posted work she had made in a Skillshare class and she mentioned how much she got out of it. I had made a note of it at the time, and I started working through the class this week. It is called Character Illustration: From Concept to Final Artwork with Matt Kaufenberg (a Minnesota illustrator!). It is awesome! So far I have learned how to collect inspiration, make a rough character sketch in Photoshop, refine it, build the basic shapes in Illustrator, and then bring the shapes into Photoshop again where you create clipping masks and begin to render and add layers of texture and detail (the fun part!). Of course, as well as using Photoshop brushes, I'm using a bunch of my homemade scanned textures and collage bits. The buttons on her jumper are the button I made recently, but recolored and resized to fit, and her knee socks are one of my collages shrunk down! How much fun is that?!  Here is what I have so far. You'll notice I still need to tackle the face!

Refined photoshop sketch...I'm not going to share my first versions!

Shapes built Illustrator and saved to layers.

Starting to render shading, texture, detail in Photoshop

Collect Joyful Moments Every Day

I was digging through my digital files looking for something, and found a scan of the sweet tree papercut that I did quite a while back. I decided to rework and develop it into a more narrative design using my new paper collages (I am kind of obsessed with them now!) I think it would be a very sweet greeting card or print to hang somewhere you need that little reminder to be mindful. I know I sure need this reminder on a daily basis, especially when dealing with 4 year old tantrums on the way to school : )

Care for a Cuppa?

I've been investing a lot of time this spring in creating a library of scanned digital components that I can use to build more of my artwork in photoshop. This way I can continue to make changes easily, but still retain a lot of "handmade" goodness in my work. Earlier this week I made a series of collages out of strips and squares of papers I had painted earlier. After I scanned the collages, I incorporated them into this Tea Time card design idea I've been working on. 

Here are details from the paper collages. Now I just have to figure out a good way to organize my digital goodies so I can find them again! 

These are the initial designs I was playing with for the card artwork, dropping a bunch of my patterns onto the cups with clipping masks. This is the amazing thing about clipping masks in Photoshop is how quickly and easily you can totally transform the art. So cool!