Last week I posted some gentle little watercolors, and briefly described the process. Here, as promised, is a more detailed view of that process.
Step one: Draw your shapes in pencil.
Step two: scan the drawings, and import to Adobe Illustrator. Trace the shapes using the pen tool, refining as you go, to create your idealized vector shapes.
Here are some illustrations I’m working on for a project. The process involves first doing a pencil drawing of the shape, which I then scan and trace in Adobe Illustrator so I have a clean-lined vector shape. Then I print it out as just a black outline, and tape to the back of a piece of watercolor paper.
Next, I place the sandwiched sheets of paper on a lightbox, and paint with watercolor. Finally, I scan the painted pieces and use the vector shape as a clipping mask to regain the crisp edges of the original drawing.
It sounds like a long process, but it’s a wonderful way to combine the organic flow of the watercolor with the sharp lines of a vector illustration.
If I have time soon, I’ll put some process pics up here, as that probably sounds like a foreign language to anyone not familiar with the tools involved.
It’s time for some updating and new colors. I’ve been thinking about some new colors for awhile, and went to browse the chips this afternoon.
When I got home, I checked them all out in the rooms and against the light and existing paint, then gave them a quick run-through in Photoshop, as I can’t resist that sort of thing.
Two shades of yellow for the kitchen; a rustic sort of dark Naples yellow for the walls, with pops of a true, bright yellow (this tint named “Cheerful!”)
I’ve rather always regretted how very subtle my choice was for the kitchen— looks barely a color in that West-facing room. Time to make right.This exuberant yellow will appear in two pops, on walls directly opposite one another— in the recessed shelves and on the double pantry doors. Can’t wait to see it up!
And in the teeny, tiny bathroom (which has done really well in a nearly-black brown color for 7 years now) shall be updated with a color pulled from a couple of the tchotchkes in there, eg. the bath salts tin— a sort of burnished aqua tone.
I’m hoping that it will make the awful dusty-rose tiles appear more neutral, and disappear in its high-key presence. Distraction is often a key component— a designer’s sleight-of-hand.
A sample of one of the little instagram comics that Z and I crafted last year under the handle @whileyouwerehappy. We kept at it for awhile, but it was time-consuming and after maybe 4-5 months our attentions inevitably turned elsewhere. It was fun, though, and we really did make ourselves laugh like mad people over them.
Above: sketch of a suburb— viewed from the spire, as it were. A suburb represents, to me, a place that lacks the most wonderful parts of both cities and wide open spaces*; A pattern imposed; a restrictive one— made to serve its developer’s purpose rather than its inhabitants. Sometimes, life feels that way, no?
(how things move altogether too quickly and smoothly once a pattern is imposed)
It‘s what patterns are for.
It’s both good and bad; comforting and regrettable. Like choosing to stay in and get a good sleep when it’s a big wondrous and scary blizzard out. You know what I mean; one feels torn, a bit. Yet resolved. It‘s life— that feeling of contradiction that somehow fits because we‘ve been socialized and trained to accept that it fits.
Days, weeks simultaneously dragging and speeding by. It‘s the unquantifiable aspect of time that math-science is less equipped to deal with than psychology-science. Viz. feelings and other ephemera more in the realm of the social sciences, aka art literature poetry philosophy— the realms comprising questions and not so many answers (yet every answer, too)†.
Math-science satisfies the Libra in me (picked up perhaps from proximity to my balanced Libra brothers). The designer in me thrives on the practicality of measurement; of the quantifiable. The artist (Scorpio) in me prefers to live the questions, as Rilke put it.
Beyond the Red Oak v6 from Elizabeth Daggar on Vimeo.
I haven’t had time the past two weeks to get much farther with this, but I’m hoping to get back to it on the weekend. Here’s where I left off in my motion tests and atmospheric meanderings.