Sweet Tweets

Here is my final MATS Bootcamp submission for February. Overall I'm very happy with how it came out.  I put a lot of time into it and I had fun trying out new techniques and using elements I downloaded from DesignCuts and Creative Market.  Some brushes used for texture were Kyle Webster's.  

MATS Bootcamp February 2015

The assignment for February was create a piece of wall art using vintage scenic plates as inspiration.  I decided I wanted to do a theme with birds. I started out with sketches, then I traced the sketch in Adobe Illustrator.  After I created the vector version I imported everything into Photoshop where i started adding more details and textures.

Here is a compilation of my process shots.

From initial sketch to final image!

Happy Bug Garden

I was finally able to finish the pattern I was previously working on.  Here is a good sized view: Happy Bug Garden pattern

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I probably spent more time trying to get the repeat to be to my liking than I should have.  I haven't really gotten the hang of creating a nice flowing repeat. I hope that more is not less in this case because I really enjoy seeing all the elements crammed in there.  Perhaps maybe just a version with the bugs one day and one with the florals.

Although I enjoy using the patterns and textures, I also like this clean version too:

Happy Bug Garden pattern

Not sure which would be more appealing to the general public.

Here are a couple close ups to see the different textures used:

Close up of textures

Close up of textures

Update on past WIP

Remember this post? Well, I've been slowly working on it and wanted to post an updated version. Original color scheme

I decided I wanted a more "natural" color scheme so I went with warm tones, brown outlines and a green background.  I may revisit my old color scheme later but I like how this is turning out.


New color scheme

I added some textures in Photoshop using elements I got in some Designcuts bundles I have purchased over the past year.  They are superb by the way!  I particularly am addicted to their font bundles!

Here are some other preview shots:

Close up of butterfly

Close up of flowers

New Owl Pattern

I finally finished something! I always start digitizing a bunch of sketches and end up moving on to something new before finishing the previous project. I'm happy to say I put in the time to finish this project.  I really had fun with this piece.  Originally there were almost 20 owls but only seven made the final cut.  I may do another pattern with more of the other owls later. Cute Owl pattern

Close up of owls

Hopefully you can see in the close ups that I used a lot of different textures and brushes in this piece.  All the elements were originally traced from my initial sketches in Illustrator. I then used some digital brushes I made (altered from the original Illustrator Artistic brushes) and used those to add more natural strokes to different lines.  I imported all the owls and other vector elements into Photoshop as smart objects.  I then started adding noise and textures (this one from Nicky Laatz is great!) and kept tweaking.  If I was just doing a stand alone image to showcase the icons it would probably have been a lot quicker but I decided to create a repeating pattern.

Close up of owl

Close up of other elements

Repeating pattern

Work in Progress- Owls

Hello, it's been a very busy month!  I wish I could spend more time on my artwork but the holiday season is always extremely busy (and seems to start earlier and earlier each year)!  Although I have a lot of ideas sketched out in my notebooks, getting them scanned and into the computer takes time. Currently I'm working on digitizing some owl sketches I had done. They don't all match up stylistically but I figure I can use the ones that do in different projects (patterns, illustrations, etc).  Here is a sneak peek on how they are coming along in Adobe Illustrator.

Owl sketches being digitized

I'm taking care to add textures and using custom brushes that I've created or modified from Illustrator's set of Artistic brushes.  Later I will add some watercolor overlays I recently purchased.

In case you may be interested, I've been purchasing great bundled sets off of DesignCuts. The bundles usually have tons of great stuff at a really spectacular deal.  An example of one I bought is their current deal. This one includes the watercolor overlays I had previously mentioned.  I'm really excited because these overlays are repeating patterns in Illustrator. Some other great includes are: fonts, vintage/retro photoshop actions, watercolor and paintbrush photoshop brushes, and vector illustrations.  I've also bought other bundles in the past.  Even though I may not have a current project or need I still buy them because I can tell they will be useful one day.

I'll try to post progress shots and highlight when I do use any of the elements I have purchased.

Another site that I've also used recently is  I found many of their classes really interesting and motivating.  Although I don't have the time to spend on the actual assignments I was still able to learn a number of new things.  Also, you can try if for free.  I really enjoyed Lydia Nichols class really neat. Her class was about using both Illustrator and Photoshop to create illustrations.  Her tips on creating custom brushes in illustrator and using scanned textures in Photoshop were really well explained and demonstrated.

Other Skillshare classes I enjoyed were Mary Kate McDevitt's intro to hand lettering and Molly Jacques' class on modern calligraphy.  There is a really nice diversity of creative classes on

*My reviews of these sites were both initiated without any form of compensation.  I just thought I'd pass on my honest opinion.