Flashback Friday

Although I may be the artist in the family, my mom is definitely the quilter/seamstress. I don't know why I never really got into sewing (maybe it's because you have to be really precise) but unfortunately the talent skipped my generation. When my daughter was born, my mom used a design I did and made a quilt out of it. Although it got some use, we tried not to use it too much in fear that it would get worn out or stained. Here is the original illustration I did:

Owl family

Here is the final quilt with our daughter at about one and a half months old.


All the pieces were hand cut and machined sewn onto the quilt. It's a lot of work. I kind of cringe when I think about all the pieces that make up each owl (not to mention the actual quilt portion of the blanket). We have a bunch of quilts from my mom that we treasure but this one is especially special since I had a hand (somewhat) in the creation.

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 Skillshare.com.  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 Skillshare.com.

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