Wow...I was super behind here! I've been posting more regularly on Facebook and on Instagram (@artistkierstan), so if you want to stay up to date, I've been a bit more regular there! Blogging, unfortunately, is harder for me to keep up with but I'll try harder ;)
So, for the pieces posted above from bottom to top are: Avocado Maki, Black Tobiko Nigiri, Green Tobiko Uramaki (with salmon, cucumber and avocado), Kani (crab legs) Nigiri, and Ika (squid) Nigiri.
These were all created using a scanned ink drawing of each sushi piece and then painted using Photoshop. I'm still pretty much a beginner with Photoshop but I figured out how to create my own brush, which helped with the Green Tobiko Uramaki. I started off just making random dots on top of the rice for the tobiko eggs but I realized that was going to take forever so I made a selection of some of the dots I already made and defined the brush settings. It was great! I was so proud of myself because I haven't learned how to do that yet but I had noticed the option because it's right above the define pattern option, which I've used a ton when designing repeating patterns. So proud of myself!
What's your favorite kind of sushi? Still more pieces to come :)
It's getting late but I figured I'd better get this posted for today! It was a warm day full of smoke from nearby wildfires. Usually my air conditioner units do a decent job of filtering but there was just too much smoke in the air that you could smell it throughout the apartment...yuck! And my Mast cell disorder makes me super sensitive to stuff like this so I've been reactive all day 😩
Anyway, here's today's piece of sushi, Ebi Nigiri. I posted a piece of shrimp on day one but that was sweet shrimp, Amaebi. The process for this was the same as the others, hand drawn in ink, scanned, edited and painted in photoshop. I really like digital painting and I think I need to find some classes to learn some new techniques. I definitely need to figure out how to get faster at it!
Have a great night! Another piece of sushi coming your way tomorrow!
If you have a chance, check out my new Etsy shop, I'm having a giveaway with purchase! www.artistkierstan.etsy.com
I gotta admit I'm really enjoying working in my sketchbook. While I like the freedom of my "no rules" daily art project, I'm thinking it might be helpful to add a little structure to it by requiring myself to create that daily art piece in my sketchbook and then work on the other ideas separately. I've been really interested in keeping a sketchbook and getting better at sketching in general. I've bought some books to build my sketching skills but I'm thinking a course or two would make it easier to learn. So, I'm super jazzed to have signed up for Sketchbook Skool starting on 10/10. I can't wait for it to start so I'm not going to wait, I'm going to keep sketching like I have the last few days and then I'll post about my experiences and progress with Sketchbook Skool once it starts. I can't wait to see what I'm capable of!!
Ok, turns out it's really hard to be creative when I feel like total crap. I think I've managed to develop a sinus infection to go along with my tonsillitis so I guess it's good they gave me antibiotics yesterday. I did manage to work on a couple of things, albeit continuations on the tree theme. I finished Grandma's birthday card and decided to develop some more leaf/season ideas with the blown watercolor branches in one of my sketchbooks. I'm also reading the book in the picture to work on my drawing skills. Now off to bed!
Fall is my favorite season and it actually seems to be arriving on time here in Portland! It's been a warm summer and dry here (I know it's hotter elsewhere but I moved here for the clouds and rain) and I've been white knuckling it for a bit so I'm so excited for the change. Starting tomorrow, we're supposed to have rain and much cooler temps for the foreseeable future! Every year on Facebook, I post a poem or quote about autumn as an ode to my favorite season. This year, however, I opted for a visual ode. I saw a tutorial on The Postman's Knock blog this weekend for creating a tree using watercolor and a straw to blow the paint across the page to make the branches, It took me a couple of tries but I totally nailed it and I just love the result! I used pearlescent watercolor paint for the leaves so they sparkle. I'm totally going to do more of these trees...there are so many options! This is 4.5" x 6".
I'm feeling better now that I've recommitted to my project and my learning/discovery process. I didn't get a chance to start as early this morning as I wanted but I'm so pleased with what I produced and learned that it's a very successful day. Now, I'm going to sign off and read some books...art books, of course :)
I mentioned yesterday that I fallen back on bad habits and really need to recommit to developing as an artist. So, I got started earlier today and did some playing around with some watercolor paints. I love how watercolors look but I've resisted them because they can be hard to control and I've been so worried about "making mistakes" that I just thought maybe I should just avoid them. That damn perfectionist makes me crazy! So, I thought today was a good day to just jump in and see what happens. I saw a great tutorial for watercolor flowers yesterday and set out to give them a try. I think some of them in the first image look interesting...not bad for a first try. I also like the second image...they're like spider mums and a little bud. I've purchased a watercolor Craftsy class and have borrowed some Kindle books on watercolor techniques so I'm going to work on this.
I really do want to work toward finding my artistic voice, though I suspect I have several (multiple art personalities?) since I like such a variety of media. As I'm wrapping up my 16th week of this project, I'm recommitting to discovering my artistic self and working each day in earnest to learn as much about myself and art-making so that I can become the artist I know myself to be.
I'm posting early today because I'm teaching a Zentangle class this evening and likely won't have time later today. I've decided to go with a mixed-media approach to the water lily line drawing I posted yesterday. I've opted to do the background water and lily pads with watercolor. The paper is holding up better than I expected. The orange parts on the image are masking fluid I put down to keep some areas lighter so that I can more easily work in some light reflections. Once the paper is completely dry, I can remove the orange and decide which ones I want to keep and which ones will be blended in with the rest of the water. I've decided to color the lily pod and water lily flower with colored pencil. I'll get started on that part tomorrow!
Ok, I know I did a color wheel a couple months back with my inktense pencils, so why am I doing more of them? Well, these are done with acrylic paint. I've been working with and mixing colors with acrylic paint for a while but I've never done color wheels. It's actually really beneficial to do color wheels in each medium you work with but since I seem to resist these "foundational" techniques, I've not done them before. These two wheels were created using three different shades of red, blue and yellow. What I noticed while making these is that I still rushed through them and wasn't methodical in my mixing in any way. So, I think I'm still resisting this technique even while I'm doing it. What resulted is that the colors don't transition smoothly into each other so yellow-green isn't much different from green which isn't that different from blue-green, etc. The one on the left is the one I did second so I took a little more time but I still didn't create a "recipe" for the color mixing. I came up with some interesting mixtures that I'd love to make again but since I didn't keep track of how much I used of each color, I can't easily replicate it. I imagine you'll keep seeing these from me in the future since it's clear that I still haven't nailed this technique yet!
I decided to go back to my colored pencil stained glass drawing today. Since the pressure required for the blending makes my hand hurt and the Icarus Board (warming board) that I posted about wanting earlier in the week can't be added into our budget quite yet, I had to get inventive. So, I put a heating pad underneath a drawing board to heat the paper which warms the wax in the colored pencils allowing for better coverage with less pressure, which means fewer layers are needed and less wear and tear on my hand (this was quite the run-on sentence!). I don't think the board conducts the heat as well as the Icarus Board does so there's still some pain in my hand but I expect to be able to do more on this tomorrow. So, I'm counting my contraption as a success...at least until I happen upon $350. I'm posting a picture of the drawing from where I left off the other day so you can see how far I made it today. I do think the pieces are looking like mottled glass and I can't wait to see how this turns out!
Ok, it doesn't look like I did much today but I actually spent several hours working on this. I signed up for Kindle Unlimited last week and have since found that they have a TON of art instruction books available. I have like 104 on a wishlist already and I keep finding more. Of course, this begs the question about how much time I've wasted looking for said books rather than working on my art...procrastination much? Anyway, I found "The Ultimate Colored Pencil Guide" and read through it last night. There are a couple of projects I'm interested in completing in this book so I decided to get one underway.
What you see above is the start of one that is a section of a stained glass window. This exercise teaches blending and burnishing techniques and I'm excited to work on it. There are a lot of pencils used in this one so it took me a while to get all of them sorted out. Then I set out to copy the design to my paper. I'm sure I could have free handed it but I really wanted the proportions to be as accurate as possible, especially since I was increasing the size of the design from a 7"x5.5" piece of paper to 14"x11". So, I opted to use the grid technique for transferring. One thing I had to be really aware of was to not press hard on the graphite pencil when making the grid lines and when drawing in the glass sections. I have a tendency to be really heavy handed so this was a little challenging. The issue with this is that when the pencil is pressed too hard, it forms an impression in the paper and the colored pencil won't cover that impression easily. Now, this can be a useful technique to create texture or add interest to a colored pencil drawing but I'm not going for any of that in this one. Unfortunately, I won't really know if I was successful in avoiding the impression until I start applying the color, so wish me luck :)
The second picture shows the drawing in the next stage...ready for coloring. As per the book, I used a color from each section to draw a line adjacent to the graphite line so that the space would be depicted but I could erase the graphite lines. Now with the grid lines and other graphite lines erased, I'm ready to color...tomorrow...