Anyhow sharing it with you here. ;) Hope it gives you a giggle.
I made another one. I can't seem to stop!
IT'S HERE! It's finally here! Every year I try to do a freebie holiday download.
I'm so happy to say that this year, I went with a Zombie theme.
Click the cover images to DOWNLOAD. There is a BLACK & WHITE version for people who want to color it themselves, and a COLOR version for lazy people like me who just want to throw a little glitter on it and call it a day.
ASSEMBLED PIECES PHOTOS:
PLEASE NOTE: This is free, it was a labor of love and I put a lot of work into it. All I ask in return is that if you like this free printable craft, and you download it that you please share the link across your social networks. Thanks!
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!
If 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...
I was so pleased to be asked to comeback to Steampunk World's Fair this year. We went last year and had a fantastic time. I've been to my fair share of shows and this event is not only very well run, but a lot of fun!
Not only will I be attending, but I was asked to contribute a poster design for promotion of the Fair. This event really tries hard to appeal to a wide variety of steampunk enthusiasts, and steampunky sub-genres. So one of their endeavors this year is to share different posters, from different artists, in an effort to showcase this event's great attitude of fun and inclusion.
They gave me an eye-opening and rather lengthy list of steampunk labels and genres to choose from for the theme of my poster contribution. I chose Weird West. Then promptly panicked. But no worries! I called world renowned expert on all things Weird-West-Steampunk, Natania Barron for help. Natania steered me in the right direction and I settled upon a sassy saloon outlaw babe and her rogue cephalopod companion.
When people ask me about my artistic process I always get a little flustered. I don't tend to work in exactly the same way every time. Sometimes I dive right in, start sketching, and never look up till I have an oil painting. Other times I start with an idea, then a thumbnail sketch, then "chicken scratches" sketches, then I look for reference and/or pose a model as needed, etc etc etc. And there are a million combinations in between those extremes. But the one common factor you'll find with me is that invariably, at some point, I've used the computer to assist me in the process.
With "A Double Calamity" I used the computer quite a bit. This is the story of the process for this piece.
Being a computer geek and graphic designer as well as a fine artist, I love computer tools that I can use for art. I particularly like the possibilities that exist for using computer software to pose models for drawing. Poser is a program I've used in the past with limited success. For the record I only ever use Poser for general reference. (I won't get into the merits of Poser art here. That's not a debate I'm interested in and I'm always delighted when I see people creating, no matter the method or medium)
For the fine artist Poser is frustratingly limited. The lighting tends to be harsh and unrealistic & the anatomy woefully flawed. But if you are relatively experienced you can use Poser effectively for very general reference when you are fresh out of live bodies to manipulate. In this scenario I'd just heard about the release of Poser 8 - which I hadn't tried yet, so I figured it was a great opportunity to give it a whirl!
I downloaded the program demo, loaded a standard model - posed her in a rough approximation of what I wanted, tweaked the lighting, and tried to render the image. No go - the demo version wouldn't let me render. No problem, I know how to "print screen". <evil grin>
Dragging my model into Photoshop I covered her with a low opacity layer of white and roughed in what I wanted. A word of warning. Don't think you can use a Poser model as an anatomical crutch. There is no tracing with these things folks. The anatomy is wonky, the joints are scary looking and the shadows are round and cold. Poser reference is great as a placeholder for layout and design and for general anatomical reference. In fact I find it most helpful when I need reference for perspective and foreshortening.
On the top layer I literally started from scratch with a stick figure, fleshing in the muscles, and features of my characters. I painted in sepia and white tones, to achieve a rough of what I wanted. I added character to the cephalopod and polled Twitter and Facebook for opinions. This piece was designed largely by feedback!
When I had my digital rough where I wanted it I printed it out. I placed the print out on my light box, and set to work transferring the image to drawing paper. In the case of this piece, I actually did this twice! The first drawing paper had no texture and was white. I decided about 1/8 of the way into the drawing that I didn't like the paper. So I started over with a piece of taupe pastel paper. The texture was a great help with achieving the look I wanted.
Towards the very end I ran into a few other problems. Feedback on Facebook cued me in that the cephalopod's cowboy hat was not reading as a cowboy hat. I had reference from the internet for this piece, and frankly I had drawn the hat accurately. BUT, this is a great example of how accuracy doesn't always read as accurate. I clearly needed to exaggerate the hat some more if I wanted it to read as a western style hat. Hopefully it's better now. *crosses fingers*. At the very last minute I decided I needed a few more details. I added handcuffs and a key, and a gun holster to the cephalopod. I also added a damask pattern to the babe's apron.
After the drawing was complete I moved onto creating a compelling print for this piece. Over the years I've learned a lot about what makes a nice print. I've found that images with plain white backgrounds do not sell as well as images with even the simplest of color washes or a parchment background. With this piece I had known from the very beginning that I would be digitally altering it by placing it on a piece of vintage paper.
The paper was scanned from my own vast collection of "interesting bits of paper".* In Photoshop I masked out the image from it's background and placed it on the vintage paper. I used a variety of layer options to marry the bits together and voila! A Double Calamity is done!
*you might be wondering why I didn't just draw this piece directly on the vintage paper. Vintage paper has acid. This can be counteracted with archival paper preserving sprays etc (which I often employ the use of in my work), BUT it's time consuming & weakens the paper. Also most of my vintage paper is smaller in size and this original piece is 8.5 x 11.
Prints are available HERE!
The original is available HERE!
Thanks so much everyone! I hope you enjoyed my long winded process explanation!
UPDATE! The poster I designed for The Steampunk World's Fair that features this drawing is now available for download in printing on their site. Please help them spread the word about this great event!
Also keep in mind that if you like the image you can support an independent artist and have a hi resolution signed copy of the print if you buy one from me! :) Sure you can just pin the poster to your wall, but your dust bunnies aren't likely to go to steampunk events, so you'd be advertising to the wrong audience AND don't your walls deserve a hi resolution copy of this beautiful print? Please help an artist buy noodles. The power is in your hands. ;)
This post is simply a statement about my "steampunk" "dieselpunk" figurines. Which some people are annoyed by.
I like steampunk. I like dieselpunk. They are both super rad.
As an artist I'm obliged to use words to describe my art. I must do this because it's the only way to get Google to acknowledge my website, and send compatible interests my way. I like to share my art. It's also my business, so I like very much when the sharing of my art results in a sale. Because then I can buy some noodles, and eat them. And noodles are good.
But there is a problem with this scheme of noodle procurement. When you use words to describe something, you run the risk of that word transforming from a simple descriptor, into a LABEL. Many words have become labels. Goth, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, NewBrow, LowBrow, Pop Surrealism, Geek …. blah blah blah, the list goes on.
Labels are rather annoying. Labels often have clouds of angry people swirling about them, shouting loudly and waving flags, trying to defend some kind of imaginary ground. I'm not interested in labels. I prefer words. Well actually, I prefer pencils and paint even over words.
So this brings us to the point.
I draw and paint. I have many many influences in my work. (Lots of them are super rad. I'll blog about that later.) A few years ago I attracted the labels "fantasy art" and "fairy art". More recently I attracted the labels "steampunk art" and "dieselpunk art". These are all fine. Personally I don't see myself as any "X" artist. I'm just Brigid. Who likes to draw and paint and really enjoys painting metal bits, wood, cracks, sad eyes, wingy things and keys. I also paint flowers, but I don't really enjoy painting flowers. Yet I paint them still. Huh.
But I digress…. Part of my business is that I do concept art for manufacturers. Sometimes I draw something totally new for the company, other times they work with images I already have. They say "We need something steampunk, people like steampunk!" And I show them my mecha sad dolls with wings on, and missing limbs, and they say "Is that steampunk? I don't see any Cogs?!" And I smack my head against the desk and tell them, that despite the shocking lack of cogs, many people who enjoy steampunk stuff, like these things I draw.
So they take the designs, and make pretty things from the designs, and they give me some money, and I buy noodles.
The company that buys these designs and makes these products is not evil. I would not work with them if they were evil. Believe me, I've met evil in the business world. It had frizzy hair and wore too much make up and Jinkies am I glad that's over.
The movement of steampunk is about self expression and definitely has a huge do-it-yourself aspect. It's about recycling and upcycling, and the beauty of a functional object, well made of warm, rich and classic materials. It's about the victorian's penchant for the glorious adornment of simple objects, and the engineering of fantastic things. It's about doing these things for yourself.
BUT, I have admired the works of steampunk artists and maker's and I have bought the things they made. I didn't make the goggles on my top hat, or my pocket watch, or the enchanting feather brooch I wear on my amazing leather vest. I didn't make any of these things. Other artists designed and made them. Just as I designed these statues, which were made by this wise company, who had the good sense and exquisite taste, to use my designs.
They are not a large company. Yes the items were made in a factory. One at a time, in small batches, all hand painted.
I am one artist, barely eeking out an income from my art. You are still supporting an independent artist when you buy these figurines. A portion of your money does go directly to me for noodle buying. And I ADORE you for it.
If you don't care for them, please don't purchase them. I will not be offended. But if you like my design, and you think it might look nice sitting on your mantle, please do buy it. And tell me, and let us be new best friends. Because any patron of independent artists, is in my small view of the world, a truly remarkable person. They are a person who appreciates things for the beauty inherent in them, and not for the labels by which they are defined.
Thank you all!
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!
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!
Phew! I'm exhausted!
I get a lot of feedback regarding the photos of my studio here on the website. It is a nice space and I'm glad people like it. But with getting ready for this solo show - FaerieCon last weekend - and being sick with piggy flu last week ..... Well this is what it looks like now!
I wanted to take a moment and remind everyone about the opening night reception of my solo show this weekend November 21, 5-8 pm.
I've been hearing from people who plan on attending and, well, I think we might have a nice turnout at this little shindig!
I'm very excited and can't wait to see everyone there.
My husband Ed and I spent last night putting hardware on the backs of frames and popping art into their beautiful black lacquer homes. (All the frames in the exhibit are black.)
Of course I have had the whole collection in my head for months now - but seeing it all come together for real - was very special. I'll be stopping by the gallery this morning to drop off the art.
I still have two oil paintings to finish for the show - they are almost complete so I am not concerned (knocks wood).
Unfortunately I do have one oil painting that won't make it to opening night. When I returned from FaerieCon I came down with the swine flu (I can only assume I got it at the con - bummer - hope no one else got sick). So I lost a WEEK of work laying in bed. I did manage to get some drawing done and plan out next steps for upcoming projects unrelated to the show - but I certainly was not well enough to sit at my art desk and hack out oil paintings.What a frustrating feeling!
Regardless after seeing everything together last night I'm quite pleased with how its shaping up!
For those of you who can make the show I would urge you to do so. The mediums I have used for this art - silverpoint and oil are mediums best viewed in person. They are both mediums that enjoy a very special relationship with light - one that just doesn't translate to print.
For those who can't make it - fear not. I'm planning a virtual opening - I have a few ideas. One idea was to host a Second Life event - which I still plan on. But feedback regarding that was that many fans would prefer something different since not everyone uses Second Life. So I'm thinking a Twitter show - with live interaction and detailed video and closeups of the art. I'm intersted in your thoughts.
That's all for now! Cheers!
WOW! I did not expect there to be quite so many Steampunks at FaerieCon.
Okay firstly - don't get excited. I'm not much of a picture taker, so there are no photos from FC in this post. Sorry folks - you'll have to make do with your imagination!
I live in Maryland, about an hour from where FC was being held this year at the lovely Hunt Valley Marriott (a hotel that is used to Cons and weirdos so their attitude towards all was helpful and accepting). We arrived at about 1:00 pm , checked into our lovely room, and set off to find friends.
After checking in with the con and getting our V.I.P. passes (which never failed to impress people - that was funny) we ventured off to set our stuff down at the Tate and Company booth. Tate & Co. is owned by my good friend Joe Tate. Joe retails and wholesales all things fantasy related. He also does some manufacturing, and lastly but not leastly also happens to be my very capable artist agent. I did several signings at Joe's booth over the weekend, so we called his spot our "homebase" for the duration of the Con.
This year I did not wear nor even bring my famous top hat & goggles with squirrel, or wear my lovely weather beaten leather trenchcoat. The general result was that many people did not recognize me or had to do a double take to realize it was me. Lesson learned - I cannot attend these things without the hat. (I have been so preoccupied with the upcoming gallery show I just wasn't feeling like dressing up - but I clearly forgot thats a hanging offense in the Con world. I'll bring the damn hat next time.)
At 3:00 I was part of a Steampunk Fairies Panel along with Thomas of Brute Force Studios (accompanied by his friend Mark) and Joseph Corsentino (Time of the Faeries). Attendance to our panel was great. We had full house with at least a dozen people forced to line the back walls. I can't say that we really stayed on topic. The conversation traveled to general steampunk rather then staying focused on fairies. We heard a lot about Thomas's steampunk creations, and I shamelessly promoted my upcoming solo show of course. Joseph had to leave us early to conduct a demonstration,but the time that he was present was lovely, and he had a lot of wonderful things to share about steampunk fairies.
I did touch on Second Life and steampunk briefly. So many people into steampunk are looking for community and experiences. So many of them have little to no access to these things where they live. SL gives them that access. I would LOVE to discuss this more. Maybe even on another panel or as a presentation etc. I'm a Second Life enthusiast and defender. It's not for everyone I get that. But SL is very misunderstood and maligned. But I'll save more on that for another post - hopefully later this week.
Moving on. After the panel we putzed around and found our friends, various other artists and vendors we know. I got to meet Gary Lippincott who is an artistic hero of mine. I think he may now officially be my new favorite person. He was awesome!! So personable and warm and kind and down to earth. Yup - definitely a cool cat.
Friday night was the Good Faeries Ball which we did not attend but all accounts were that it was wonderful. We did however go out to dinner with a few friends and had a ridiculously raucously good time. Ash Evans (a fellow artist and very good friend of mine) and I had a little too much to drink and by evening's end were planning to go on the road as the fantastic comedy duo Ash Squared. (Get it?) Yeah - we'll keep ya'll appraised of tour dates.
On to Saturday. Let's see - I was definitely a bit hungover I'll admit but I suspect it was less the wine and more just LIFE. The past few months have been so busy - I've been in a race against my fatigue to get all the work I have finished in time for the exhibit. My body decided it was shut down time and threw me back into idle. I decided just to go with it and that was the best plan. A few days of downtime enjoying myself was just what was needed.
Saturday's signing went well but was a bit short. Visitors were treated to sneak peeks of three originals I brought with me. It was awesome to see their reactions to these new works. I met several wonderful people - some of whom are aspiring artists and some who follow me on twitter or facebook.
One thing I'd like to say is if you follow my blog or twitter or facebook please by all means introduce yourself! I'd love to hear from you. Several people mentioned they follow me or keep up with my work, yet this was our first interaction. I don't bite folks (except by written request and only with the proper release forms filled out) so get in touch!
Saturday night was the Bad Faeries Ball. My sister and her husband came up to attend and we had a great time being silly with all our friends. Having learned my lesson the night before I stayed nicely sober, and avoided the morning after consequences.
Let's see Sunday I did another signing and then we packed up to head back home.
All in all we had the best time this year we've ever had at FaerieCon. We really enjoyed ourselves. The new venue was awesome, and really conducive to creating a community "vibe" while we were there. Attendance seemed really good, and con-goers were in a great mood and really friendly (trust me this isn't always the case at Cons sometimes the vibe is grumpy and disgruntled - FC organizers did a great job meeting con attendees needs, and hence they were really relaxed and pleasantly enjoying themselves).
The I <3 Steampunk shirts we brought were really well received. (They are being taken over soon by Off World Designs and will be more widely available - yay!) and again the amount of Steampunkers there was really amazing to me. It seems that the integration of magic and fantasy into Steampunk is defintely catching on. The Heliograph has an interesting blog and poll about this very topic. Go cast your vote!
Lastly we made a number of exciting connections at the Con - that may result in some very cool projects and collaborations in the future. Nothing I can get into yet. But don't worry I'll let you know when the time comes.
I'm interested in your thoughts! If you were at the con or not - please post a comment if you are so inclined.
I need help! I cannot decided upon a name for this pair. Any ideas?
This piece is part of my upcoming show. Painted in oil on gessoed paper.
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
I have a Work In Progress shot on the front page of my website. Alas it is not finished yet. But it will be! I promise.
I used to work on an image frantically until it was finished. When I was younger my body could handle this. NO MORE! I just can't do all nighters hunched over my drawing desk any more. But I've found that because I cannot work at the same frantic pace anymore I am more susceptible to becoming a little bored with an image. Well bored isn't really the right word. I'm rarely bored with an image while creating it (trust me the ones that have bored me never see the light of day) - it's more that at some point during the creation process you are just DONE with it and ready to move on to the next idea.
The challenge for me is trying to ward off that feeling for as long as possible. Because once I'm in that place - I'm no longer working as hard to do my best on the image. Once I'm in that place I'll just rush through till the end to get the piece done. And that is a dangerous thing to do. It inhibits creativity and growth. These days I work on several images at a time to stave off complacency.
The piece on the front page of my website is basically my interpretation of the Celtic Goddess Bloduewedd. I have many images planned in a series of Goddess - she is the first. I'm excited about the imagery I am hoping to project in those images - but more about that later. She is not the topic for today.
As I said I tend now to work on more then one piece at a time. My new WIP is a re- interpretation of Snow White. I plan on documenting the journey I go through with creating this image so that I can share with you my working process for my digital paintings. Since I began painting digitally I've found that so many people are really unclear as to what exactly goes into a digital painting. That is understandable because there are so many ways to create what is reffered to as digital art. I myself actually work very traditionally when painting digitally. I'll share the process here as best I can. (And when I get my new computer I'll start painting live again! Right now my computer can't handle the strain.)
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!