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-->

Be Careful What You Wish For . . .

Over a year ago I made a wish. I wished to live in a newer house that required less maintenance (our current house is 250 years old), in a warmer climate with a lower cost of living. I wished for a studio with a door on it. I wished for my husband to have employment that was lower stress and afforded him more free time. I wished that my own art career would continue on the upwards trajectory with more of my income contributing to the household income - with the eventual hope that my income would become the primary source and my husband could enjoy even more free time. As the saying goes be careful what you wish for.

Two months ago my husband was laid off. Within a month he had a new job, we'll be moving to Texas to accommodate this new position. This means we'll be buying a new house, moving to a warmer climate with a lower cost of living and my husband will be working some from an office in Texas and some from home. Meanwhile my art career has surged, and I've more work on my plate, more licensing gigs, commissions, projects and inspiration then I know what to do with. All this is wonderful. But it's rather stressful too.

The mere thought of moving across the country with 2 dogs and 2 cats and a huge house full of crap is just so very exhausting mentally. I have a dozen artwork commitments all due in a month. I have a little girl about to go into middle school. I have to sell one house and buy another. I have to get rid of some of this crap. I hope my new studio has a door. I really NEED a DOOR.

But when I start to feel overwhelmed I remind myself that I asked for all of this. Did I think I would just wake up one day in a new state with a new home? Am I so spoiled that I have the nerve to complain and feel overwhelmed about life changes that are ultimately good? NONE of this is insurmountable. Dealing with the aftermath of a Tsunmai is what qualifies as insurmountable. I'm happy and healthy, so is my family, and we have to move to Texas this summer. This is, in the grand scheme of life's challenges, an easy one. So I'll shut up about it already. And share some new art with you. ;)
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New Perfume Lockets and a Customizable Print

Well after a year of development I can finally share with you a new product I am very proud of. Secret Scents are jewelry, art and fragrance in one piece of wearable goodness. :) These beautiful lockets feature art prints on the outside and inside hold a very fragrant secret - solid perfume! This product was an original idea about a year ago - and I was so excited when I thought of it - but I wanted to be sure they were done right. The locket needed to be big enough to showcase the art but not cumbersome - the perfume had to be stable in it's solid form and of course smell wonderful and the whole thing had to be high quality but not overly expensive. After working with one of my licensing companies we finally hit upon the right combination of quality materials - most of which are made in the USA - that would give us the beautiful product we wanted but without breaking our customer's wallets. The result is a really stunning piece of jewelry at what I think is an unbelievable price point! On my website you will see our first four lockets featuring some of my post popular images. But what we haven't told you yet is that we have more artists waiting in the wings. We'll be releasing several more artists over the next few months - each with their own set of four Secret Scents lockets all with unique fragrances and stunning artwork. I can't wait!

On to our next product! Flower Fairy is a customizable Victorian inspired fairy art print. She's perfect as a gift for a fairy lover or to decorate a little girl's room. Enjoy!