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Creating a digital illustration: Queen Anne's Lace

Hey guys-

My name is Jessica, I live in Brooklyn NY.  It's over 100 degrees here with the heat index today!  It's so hot my cat is letting me dump water on her periodically to cool off.

I'm amped to take Sara's class so I can learn more about Photoshop and how to enhance my artwork throught digital programs.

I decided to put together a little inspiration board on pinterest that reflects my idea to do a floral study on Queen Anne's Lace.  You can find a bit of these wildflowers in and around the NY area right now!  I also took into consideration the bugs that share this flower for food and shelter. 

My initial sketches are all under 2mins each and here I am focusing on the composition of the piece.

1. Circular layout with vase fading out at bottom, could be useful for some cool effects.

2. Same idea, with roots instead of vase.  More bugs!

3. Haphazard approach with busy center fading outward to smaller details like roots, leaves.

4. An idea with some sort of symmetry intact. 

I need to pick something from these ideas, but the final selection will be based off what the reason for the piece will be.  I am taking another Skillshare class on pattern repeats, so I thought it would be interesting to pick a design that could be used as a motif for textiles.  If this isn't something I end up deciding to do, a  basic print for my personal collection could be cool.

As of right now I am between #1 and #4. 

UPDATE 7/29/13

So I've been spending a bit of time trying to figure out the execution of the Queen Anne's Lace.  Most of the work I do is relief printing with carved linoleum, so I wanted to proceed with this as the medium and convert into digital work.  Could be really cool.  However I have a very short attention span, so most of my work style tends to be this sloppy, not very detailed stuff.  Ce la vie. 

I found one of my last pieces of linoleum, it's sort of damaged from some tape residue and its an awwkard shape so I opted for drawing #1. 

When I carve, I usually draw a rough draft in red pencil and go over with black marker the basic lines.  Details like cross hatching or finer lines come with the carving tool.  Then there's always the awkward no-ability-to-erase situation that I land across like the vase where I have about 3 ideas overlapping each other and just continue to layer ideas until I figure out what I want at the last minute. 

Some carving I started today.  See you soon with some more progress!

UPDATE 7/30/13

Phew, blasted through that in one day.  I strugged a bit with the vase, I just had no idea what I wanted it to look like and everything I was drawing was pretty harsh against the overly feminine bouquet.  So I hacked out most of the vase and thought that could be a really cool goal to enhance that part with digital work.  Next step, print this guy on some paper and scan it into the computer!

UPDATE 8/24/13

I haven't forgotten about this project, just taking my sweet time learning photoshop!  So far I've gotten a couple colorways down.  Dropping in initial colors before I get some textures in there.  Excited so far.  One question I have is that I took a high-res photo of the work (because I don't have a scanner) and adjusted the color in photoshop to be what I thought was solid black/white.  But there is a purple haze along the black line.  I took a screenshot below.  Can anyone give adivse on how to avoid that?  UGH how did I make that happen!  It hurts my eyes to look at it.  :) 

UPDATE 8/27/13

Personal shout out to Sean Ross who gave me the advice to desaturate the black layer to rid the purple haze.  Derp, totally worked!

Here's a first colorway I am calling complete.  Working with a relief print made me feel like I was making stained glass window.  Far less of a "punk-patch-ish" end result then I'm used to, but something totally different and interesting in working with textures, layers, and colors nonetheless!

I plan to work on a few more colorways I have started, to try different textures and see if I can achieve a completely different mood.  Also I'm curious if I can ever make this look anything other then a flat stained glass window.  Finally, I have certainly been admiring some students brushstrokes and textures.  I am wondering, is it common and acceptable to download different brushes online for producing a client's work?   What are some of your favorite brushes?

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