Anatomy of a Painting

I recently completed a series of paintings collectively titled 'Vintage Romance'. (Prints of the paintings are now available here on my website and in my Etsy shop.)

I thought it might be fun to share the process of how I created these designs with you. The response to the images has been wonderful and I've received a lot of questions about the images. Some people thought the images were vintage clipart designs. They are not - the are original paintings. BUT they are indeed inspired by classic Victorian clip art (some more heavily then others) I'm so glad that I achieved the "look" I was going for! Thanks for the compliments!

Many people have assumed the paintings are digital. They are not. While I do paint digitally often, I also remain an active "traditional" artist. Honestly these days it seems like the minute you dabble with digital painting at all, everyone suddenly casts you as solely a "digital artist"! It's strange! Rest assured my first loves as mediums continue to be graphite, silverpoint and alkyd oils. That said I am forever grateful to the assistance that my graphic experience affords me as an artist. Every piece I create still has a computer involved at some point. Whether I use it simply to sketch out ideas, research reference, or to tweak a final scan, the computer is an essential part of my creation process!

Here's a bit of a peek into the workflow that went into creating these "traditional" paintings. ;)

This image shows the original thumbnail idea sketch in the upper left, and the concept sketch based off of it. The thumbnail sketch was graphite, while the digital sketch was drawn in Corel Painter. I used an oval template to help with the composition of the design because I knew these images main purpose was for my Perfume Locket line. I wanted to be sure that the design flowed well within the oval. Additionally I made sure I worked small. About 3"x4". The reason for this small format is because the final product (Perfume Lockets), is only 1"x1.5". It would be silly to paint this piece overlarge - only to shrink it down so drastically. There is no point wasting time painting minute details if they won't be seen in the finished product!

The next step in the process was to draw the image in graphite on paper. I chose a toned paper with a slight texture and used a light box to transfer my concept to the paper. Then I completed the piece as a finely shaded graphite drawing. I scanned this image into the computer. This scanned image served two purposes. One, it gave me a simple drawing from which to create a vintage style sepia toned print.  And two, it served as the basis for the full color acrylic painting....

 

To create the acrylic painting I printed a copy of the graphite scan. I mounted the grayscale print of the Bee to illustration board. I then sealed the print with clear acrylic matte medium. I painted the piece in acrylics (Golden Fluid Acrylics) and then it was complete! Er....not quite....

 

I decided to change the background color of the piece at the last minute. I've been on a "Robin's Egg Blue" kick lately and I just couldn't resist. I felt the new background color really made the Bee pop, and finally the piece was finished. Time for the final scan!

This technique, painting over a print of an original graphite drawing, rather then the drawing itself, has the advantage of leaving me with TWO originals. I love that!

I used the scans of both the graphite drawing and the full color painting to create the images for the perfume lockets. Thanks to the techniques I employed, the result is a bright image with a tight composition that looks tailored to the products it graces. Which it was! ;) Yay!

Sepia Toned ImageFull Color ImageIf you like these images they are available as Prints, Perfume Lockets and coming soon NoteCards!

In fact this week only you can enter a giveaway for a chance to win a Secret Scents™ Perfume Locket of your choice. The giveway is on Facebook & you'll have to "like" our fanpage to enter. So I apologize if - like me - you hate Facebook. But hey, maybe you'll win a free locket! ;) CLICK HERE to enter.

Until next time...

Cheers!

>>--Brigid-->

Steampunk Pin-Up & Goddess Project

Hello everyone! Last week I finalized the concept sketches for the next 3 hotties in my Steampunk Pin-Up series, SteamBabes. You can see the sketches HERE, and follow my progress via my Facebook Fanpage, Twitter, Tumblr or Google+.

The neat thing about these SteamBabes is that the models for each piece are friends of mine - fellow artists Amy Brown, Ash Evans & the lovely Angela Brenneman. I really appreciate them posing for these pieces! I thought I was going to start work on them last week. But when I went to my paper cabinet, I was completely out of the paper that I had drawn the first SteamBabe on. Of course I want the series to be consistent - so I've got a Dick Blick emergency shipment coming this week. ;)

 

In the meantime I've been tweaking and refining the concept art for the first 4 Goddesses in my Goddess Project series. These have been tricky. The art in these images needs to be rather versatile. Not only do I want them to be spectacular paintings BUT the figures were designed partly with licensing/manufacturing in mind. For instance these images are a proposed line of figurines AND perfume lockets. But they are also going to be large oil paintings with many other components in the painting. So yes, this is rather challenging. I've got a myriad of things I need to consider while designing the rest of the sketch for these paintings. As you can see by this sketch for the Morrigan painting. She's positively littered with hotspots - basically areas I've got to be extra careful designing because once the painting is finished - I'll pop out those areas and use them for additional product projects. For instance the oval at the top and the oval at the bottom will be necklaces. As always I'll be sharing the process with you. Wish me luck! And feel free to fan the Goddess Project Facebook Fanpage to find out the latest news.

Tommorrow I'll be sharing pics of my new studio (it's finally set up and functional) and the link to my newly updated Wholesale Website. Yay!!

As always - THANK YOU FOR LIKING MY ART!

~Brigid ;)

 

Steampunk World's Fair & Professor Elemental

This weekend, May 14-16 I'll be at the Steampunk World's Fair in Piscataway New Jersey.

I'll have a table with some prints and goodies and I'll be painting live (digitally on my Wacom Cintiq). I'm also participating in two talks/lectures/whathaveyou. One on Steampunk Art - and another on Steampunk in Virtual Worlds.

I'm absolutely delighted to be a guest at this event. I can't thank the organizers enough for inviting me. I'm so excited to meet so many wonderful artists, performers and steampunk enthusiasts in person!

I'm especially excited to meet my most recent Steampunk friend - Professor Elemental.

If you are into Steampunk and you don't know who he is -  well you need to! He is the artist behind the instant classic and unofficial Steampunk Anthem - "A Cup of Brown Joy". CLICK HERE to watch the video.

When the good Professor asked me to create the cover of his new album "The Indifference Engine" - I of course leapt at the opportunity. And I'm so glad I did!

The album is awesome - and the cover - which I'm now finally able to share with you - is one of my favorite steampunk paintings to date. It was great fun to paint! 

click to view image larger

click to view image larger

If you are familiar with the brilliant creations of  Brute Force Studios - then you might recognize the inspiration and reference for the goggles and gun in this photo! (Special thanks to Mark - the maker of those special pieces  - for posing for the "body and accessories" reference for the painting.)

So if you are planning on attending Steampunk World's Fair - the rumor is you can get a special advanced copy of the album (did I mention its awesome?) at the Fair. I'll also have signed prints of this image available at my table. 

Hope to see you there!

Steampunk Art Exhibit - Brigid Ashwood

Greetings everyone! I am pleased to bring you the final details regarding my upcoming exhibit.

I personally invite you all to opening night!

If you do plan on attending please feel free to let me know either via the comments on this page or drop me a line via email or at one of my online haunts (twitter, facebook, myspace). I'd love to know to expect you!

I can't wait to share this collection of works. Hope to see you there!

(Please feel free to repost this information anywhere you like. I've included the full text found on the invitation below the images to make copying and pasting easier.)

click the image for full size

click the image for full size

 

TEXT of INVITATION (feel free to use this text to share this event information)

Brigid Ashwood
Winged Things & Improbable Machines
an exhibit
Gifts Inn BoonsBoro Maryland
www.giftsinnboonsboro.com

Working with classic mediums such as silverpoint, oil paint, wood panel and antique book paper, artist Brigid Ashwood has created a collection that resembles a surreal reliquary of artifacts, all gleaned from the deepest recesses of the imagination. The exhibit reads much like the lost sketchbooks of a tortured dollmaker;  many finely rendered images reveal delicately crafted joints, creaking against porcelain and weathered wood. This blend of antique and traditional materials, combined with references to pop culture's current obsession with all things Steampunk, make this exhibit compelling to behold.  We cordially invite you to experience it for yourself.

For more information go to:  http://bit.ly/2Ey0FX

Full URL: http://www.brigidashwood.com/blog/2009/10/27/steampunk-art-exhibit-brigid-ashwood.html

 

Gifts Inn BoonsBoro Proudly presents

Winged Things & Improbable Machines an exhibit by artist Brigid  Ashwood
Opening Night Reception  November 21st 5-8 pm

Exhibit Duration
November 21st 2009 through Jan 2nd 2010


Gifts Inn BoonsBoro
16 North Main Street
Boonsboro, MD 21716
301.432.0090
www.giftsinnboonsboro.com


Hours Mon. – Sat. 10:00 – 6:00

Holiday Hours (Nov. 29 - Dec. 20)
Sunday 11:00 - 4:00
Monday - Saturday 10:00 - 6:00

 

 

Journals, Skins, Freebies & Steampunk Art

Alright people lots to share!

New Journals from Modofly!

These journals are so awesome! I can't even begin to describe how totally cool they are in person.

And they are made in the USA! These ship directly from Modofly - not from me.

So if you want one CLICK HERE. 

 

 

 

 

Skinit - protective skins for your electronic goodies

Skinit has 4 of my images available as skins for just about every electronic device you can imagine.

There are two Steampunk designs, one Wolf, and one Kitchen Witch available  - CLICK HERE

 

Free Desktop Wallpaper!

And last but not least SteamBee is finally available as a free desktop wallpaper.

Download him HERE

 

Thats it for today!

Cheers!

>>-Brigid->

Gallery Exhibit Information

I'm happy to share with you a small press release for my exhibit in November:

Winged Things & Improbable Machines - an exhibit by artist Brigid Ashwood.

Working with classic mediums such as Silverpoint, Egg Tempera and Antique Book Paper artist Brigid Ashwood has created a collection that reads like a surreal reliquary of an imagined future-past. The works offer a glimpse into the lost sketchbooks of what could be Da Vinci's Steampunk Cousin - or maybe a mad dollmaker - or tortured taxidermist. The blend of ancient and traditional materials with references to pop cultures current obsessions with all things Steampunk, Da Vinci Code-esque and Japansese Ball Jointed Dolls make this exhibit compelling viewing. Don't miss it.

November 21st 2009 - Jan 2nd 2010

Opening Night Reception November 21st 5-8 pm

Gifts Inn Boonsboro


 

And some additional information that you might find interesting. Gifts Inn Boonsboro is a gallery - it gets it's name in part from the fact that it is also the gift shop for a Bed and Breakfast called Inn Boonsboro.

Inn Boonsboro is a fabulous literary themed Bed and Breakfast that is owned by world famous bestselling author Nora Roberts. Nora lives is Boonsboro ( I happen to be a Nora Roberts fan! And interestingly enough Boonsboro is only 8 minutes from where I live)

Nora also owns a book store in Boonsboro called Turn the Page Books. Whenever she releases a new title they have a signing at her store and hundreds of people show up. Its quite something.

During the run of my exhibit we will of course have an opening reception but we're also planning an additional reception for the people who attend the book signing in December.

Hope to see you at the opening!

 

>>-Brigid->

Unfair Things - Steampunk Doll

I finished a new piece that is very special to me. I'm quite pleased with her I must say. :)

I envision her as a self created Steampunk inspired doll creature - who collects to her other creatures and things for own dubious purposes. My husband commented that he felt a certain menace in her - just under the surface and my sister said she is "alarming limbless". So yes based on these comments I think I managed to project what I wanted. *evil wink*.

Text reads "Bring to me a fitting portion of string... an aether lamp and unfair things".

This image is part of my collection for my gallery show this coming Fall 2009. The theme for this first show is the same as my website title "Winged Things & Improbable Machines." And yes it will feature steampunk art - or at least works that are steampunk inspired - however that will not be the main focus but rather one element.

The majority of the collection will be Silverpoint Drawings on antique bookpaper. I've perfected a process to allow me to draw on this paper and the results are stunning. I've also been working on my own technique for aging and staining new paper.

I'll talk more about the exhibit in coming months and share what art I can. In the meantime I hope you enjoy "Unfair Things".

Signed prints are available HERE

Oh yes! And in other news I am also now offering SteamBee as a print all by himself. I can't tell you how many requests I have gotten for exactly this - so happy to tell you he's now available! (or she I don't honestly know if SteamBee is a male or female - up to you I suppose!) Buy HERE

 

 

Silence is Golden & New Art

God I love silence. I spend much of my creative time in complete silence. It's only thru silence that I can clear out the mundanities of life and allow my creative mind to take over. Silence allows me to hear my inner voice - the creative muse - and through that stillness and quiet the ideas peek out - shyly at first - then eventually boldy till they wrestle and battle with each other for dominion over my brain. Finally one of them jumps forward, slaughters the others (sometimes taking prisoners or devouring the remains of the fallen)and demands to come to life.

Once that happens I can happily turn on some background noise or sometimes music. (Actually I often find music too distracting from the idea at hand - if the music itself is too inspiring I'll have new ideas competeing for attention).

I love my silence. When I don't have silence readily available to me I am PAINFULLY AWARE OF THE FACT. (Summer vacation = child out of school = precious little silence) The creative muse is still there but she's chaos now. The voices of ideas pile up on each other until sorting the laundry takes ages because I simply cannot focus past the din of voices in my head to tell the reds from the whites! GAHHH!!

But thankfully there is dance camp. For a blessed three hours a day I have silence.

Here is some art.

 

Signed prints available HERE.

Till next time.

Cheers

>>-B->

Steampunk Music

Short blog. Up late. Gotta get to bed.

But I writing to you dear readers because this BLOODYFECKINGAWESOME band just friendadded me on MySpace and you need to know about them NOW.

The Cog is Dead is the name and they are steampunk inspired but it doesn't stop there.

Yep they are a little schizo in their style which I'm fond of as my art style is a little schizo too so I can relate.

The songs they have up are all very nice but several really stand out to me as outstanding. Go listen to them here: http://www.myspace.com/thecogisdead

I particularly like Death of the Cog, Freddie & Let Me Be Your Man.

They really blew me away. Gotta watch these guys.

Right off to bed. Cheers!

New Silverpoint Drawings & Exhibit Update

 

I've two new silverpoint drawings to share - they can be found in the Mineral Deposits Gallery. I'll be offering prints soon so stay tuned for that announcement.

The originals of these images however won't be for sale for a while as I have to save all new art for my upcoming exhibit at a gallery here in Maryland. The exciting thing is that the gallery has chosen a date right after Faeriecon - this is wonderful for the show as Faeriecon is in Baltimore (ish) this year and since the exhibit is also in Maryland and only about an hour from Baltimore it's a GREAT opportunity for me to promote the gallery show at FaerieCon. I'm really happy with how that worked out.

I can't tell you how excited I am about this show and it's theme. The gallery itself is owned by an incredibly famous author of whom I am a fan - my understanding is that I am one of the first major exhibits at this new gallery - which is just thrilling for me. I'll be revealing more about the theme of the show in coming weeks. Some of the images I will share here - others I will show only a portion of or not at all. Ha! You'll have to come to the show (or wait till it's over) to see many of the pieces.

Oh! One of the silverpoint drawings doesn't have a name yet! I'm taking suggestions!

Happy Mother's Day all!

 

 

Two New Drawings

I have two new drawings to share today! Go to the Mineral Deposits Gallery to see "Repose" and "Reflection". These pieces were drawn in graphite on hand stained paper. I use a special formula of organics to stain my paper - regular watercolor would interfere too much with the tooth of the paper so I developed my own nasty bath of a variety of things with which to stain my papers. It works well ;) The white heightening is just white Prismacolor pencil.