Wednesday, March 19, 2014

true collaboration . . .

i recently coordinated a project that required the artistic abilities of myself and my 2 kiddos.  they love to paint, so i let them, and we're all pretty happy with the final product.

step 1 - the little man

 he's 3, the youngest "collaborator", so he goes first.  i provided him with a canvas, a paint brush, and a tray of "cool" paint colors that he chose himself.  i limited my input to directing him to paint the white areas, and he really stepped up to the challenge.  he had a blast, and really did not think he should have to stop.
i know some people tarp off an area when they let their little ones paint.  i think it's more work that it's worth.  i put him in a t-shirt that was already stained, and that's as far as my prep went.  acrylic cleans up easily with a sponge.

step 2 - big sister
after step 1 was dry, i let the 10-year-old have her turn.  she got a palette of "warm" colors and she was free to doodle on the already-painted background.  i told her that some of her work would get covered up, so it was more about having fun than painting a picture.

and step 3 - making it work

would i have hung it on the wall as-is?  yes, probably.  i'm a mom, so all the stuff they make is precious.  but this was a set project, so there was my part to finish.

i was inspired by an image i found on pinterest, which seemed appropriate given the project.

i drew it out and then painted the sky and grass areas white before the blue/green.  the space between the hearts was a particular kind of torture.  then i went back in with a fine brush to do the black outline and then the white highlights.

i'm pretty proud of my fine brushwork.  it's definitely a developed skill and i'm finally comfortable with most any project requiring it.


Monday, March 17, 2014

a guide to the world of fantasy . . .

a month or so ago i joined a swap on and my partner had on her wishlist a totally awesome idea - a fantasy world map, that would include many different worlds of fantasy literature.  i'm a fan of many of these books, and so it was a no brainer.

here's the final product:
i'm pretty excited about how it turned out.  i enjoy duplicating type styles, so i tried to label the lands in relevant fonts.

some detail shots:

ACK! why are they rotating.  geez, blogger.  hope i can fix that.

anyhow, let me tell you how i got from the request to the final project . . .

first, i did some research.  i have read most of the books referenced, but not all.  shout out to the hunger games and game of thrones!  obviously, reading all the books would have been valuable, but not within time constraints.  so i talked to my fellow readers.
what was the book's environment like?
what kind of weather did they have?
was there water mentioned anywhere?  mountains?  hills?  dessert?
how large was the land?  how long would it take to cross on foot?

and then i did some searching to see if anyone else had already mapped the individual lands.  many already had some cartography done, but most that did had several different interprutations.  i had to go back to my experts to see which one best melded with their impressions of the books.

and then draw!  i decided to limit the details to basic land markers.  i had some lands with great detail and i could have really gone crazy, but the problem was with the lands that had very little detail to offer - i didn't want to invent information, and i also didn't want to leave those areas bare in comparrisson.  this way the labels popped more, and that's fine by me.  i used prismacolor pencils for the coloring, sharpies for the outline.

last was the destruction.  i ripped it a little, and wadded it up and beat it.  i used tea to discolor it.  completely nerve racking.

and that's pretty much it.  no in-process photos, so sorry.  i really don't like taking pictures in the middle of working.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

oh, my poor, poor neglected blog - i've got big plans to bring it back to life, soon!  in the meantime, check out my stores:

splendid handmade:

sass airbrush:

and come back soon for the fun ;)