Showing posts with label watercolor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label watercolor. Show all posts

Monday, February 23, 2015

Simply Messing About...with Watercolor!

Since I'm not yet able to post images from the current book I'm working on (A Morning with Gong Gong, Lee & Low), here are a couple little paintings I've been doing for fun. I've had this Windsor & Newton travel watercolor set for a couple years, but I've hardly used it. I decided to pull it out and simply mess about! Though watercolor isn't as forgiving as my computer, it's been fun to make marks on paper and delight in happy accidents. I'm hoping these little exercises in watercolor will spill over and help me with some spontaneity in the digital world of painting. Here's to having fun with real paint!

~christina


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What I'm working on...

Here's a little peek into my process for some small commissions I recently finished! 
First, I gathered information on my subjects (I asked about favorite colors and animals). I took this information and started with really loose sketches in my sketchbook:
I tried to mimic those sketches as best I could on watercolor paper using very light pencil. I went over that with ink line and when that dried, I erased the pencil and began painting and coloring. 


The results look a little bit like this! The colors ended up looking great together:



These pieces for Kickstarter backers were all inspired by Peter H. Reynold's International Dot Day. In fact, the alligator piece on the bottom left is for him! It's his son, Henry Rocket reading a book about rockets, of course! 


Cheers!
~Renee

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Leap of Faith

The amount of sketch work I have done in the past few years sits in a pile of sketchbooks next to my computer, untouched, most of it having never seen the light of day (i.e. the internet: instagram, facebook, twitter). One day, pondering all of this, I got very sad. What if all this work is for nothing?



But I took a leap of faith...and launched a Kickstarter campaign to print my favorite drawings in a book. To my shocking surprise...it's actually happening! There are just three days left in the campaign and I've got the entire book in layout, ready to go!


One added bonus I am very excited about is... the endpapers:


I really appreciate everyone's support so far, thank you! It really makes me so happy to think that people actually want to buy a book of my sketches. I mean, not only buy it, but fund it...make it happen. That blows my mind! 



There are just 3 days left to get one of my books for only $15! Here is a link to the project site if you are interested! www.kickstarter.com/projects/reneekurilla/so-many-sketchbooks


And THANK YOU (times a trillion!!)


Cheers!
~Renee

Thursday, September 11, 2014

International Dot Day


September 15th is International Dot Day, a celebration of creativity that was inspired by Peter H. Reynold's book THE DOT.

Check out Celebridots.com, a collection of author/illustrator dots curated by teacher and creativity champion, Terry Shay. 

And lastly...go make one! Make a dot! There is art in everything.

#DotDay

Friday, January 31, 2014

Simply Messing About with Mediums

Over here in my head, there is always a debate over traditional vs. digital. Which is more appealing? Which is more fun to make? Which can get me more work? I switch back and forth all the time because my tastes change. My skills, however, differ in both methods. Sometimes I need them to influence each other.

Recently, I was approached to do a color sample in my sketch style and it turned my world around. It makes me ecstatic that this style may eventually be ready for publishing, but I still have a little ways to go. I wanted to show you a little bit of what my process looks like as I try to figure this out.

This sketch is what started me thinking about all of this again.

I've been drawing like crazy in sketchbooks for a little over a year now, and most often my drawings turn out looking like the one above. Recently, I started incorporating Prismacolor colored pencil and Copic marker into my usual pencil and ink brush doodles. My eyes needed to see more color and finish in the sketches I had grown to love making.

But that Alligator and Armadillo tea party got me excited, so I took it to Photoshop to color it as fast as possible. Why? Because my skills in Photoshop currently surmount my Paper skills...it's a crutch.

I liked this color, but it didn't have the same energy, so I left it as is...

In this particular case I was happy with the colors I chose, but it still wasn't working for me. I went back to the drawing board...quite literally.

That's better, but still not quite right.

But, I was missing the vibrancy and saturation. I know that it's possible to attain this with watercolor, but I haven't figured out how to get there yet. Then, I remembered the gouache set I got for Christmas and started to play again with yet, another new medium.

I started with a gouache warm up.

And this is where I landed.

My goal for what I post on the Simply Messing About blog was always to document my journey back into traditional painting...that's it. But with this particular project, I hit on an important fact, that it's ok to jump back and forth always letting digital influence traditional and vice versa. And sometimes, they work really well – together.

I added a background color to this gouache painting...digitally.

Until next time!
~Renee



Friday, May 31, 2013

Manga Studio 5 Part 2- Painting Demo and Custom Brushes

Here's my second video about how I use Manga Studio 5 for digital illustration.
It's a bit long and rambly but I talk a more about how I use certain features, a bit about art in general, and a look at how I make custom brushes in MS5.



Manga Studio 5 Painting and Custom Brushes demo by Tracy Bishop from Tracy Bishop on Vimeo.

Link:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Watercolor my World: Part 2

In my last few posts, I've gotten a little digital-heavy, but I promise I have not forgotten to document my painting progress! In my last watercolor post, I described why I decided to take a watercolor class in the first place. As my 8 week course comes to a close, it's easy to say that I'm not quite publish-ready with the medium, however, I did make a great deal of progress. 

My starting palette. 

Here's my edited palette (in list form) and what I discovered about each color (to my personal taste):

-Cobalt Blue (too close to Ultramarine, replaced with Prussian Blue)
-Ultramarine

-Viridian Hue
-Sap Green
-Burnt Umber (dull, but sticking with it)
-Yellow Ochre (too dull, replaced with Naples Yellow)
-Quinacridone Gold (decided to add more blue to palette with Cerulean)
-Cadmium Yellow Hue
-Burnt Sienna
-Alizarin Crimson (use it in EVERYTHING)
-Cadmium Red Light Hue (replaced with Mortum Violet)
-Cadmium Red (also use it in EVERYTHING)


As in most schooling, it's customary to start with still lives. Here's my first pass at one using my original  Winsor & Newton palette and Arches Cold Press


Here are a few other samples of what I painted:



I discovered how much I like to add reds and pinks when I'm real-life painting. I also became slightly obsessed with painting fur. :) It doesn't happen so much when I'm working digitally, but who knows, maybe that will change now? 

My weapons of choice:
-Ticonderoga #2 Pencil
-Isabey Squirrel Quill Brush (Size 4) - great for both large washes and details
-Isabey Kolinsky Brushes (Size 4 and 6) - best for small areas
-Winsor & Newton Cotman (Size 5) - best for hard details


I switched a lot between Hot and Cold Press Arches (140 lb.) throughout the 8 weeks, trying to discover what I like best about both. 


Cold Press (Toothy Texture) seems to be best at letting the paint do it's thing:


Paint edges look softer and blend better on Hot Press.

Hot Press (Smooth) seems to be best for adding ink line and/or colored pencil:


Paint edges look harder and more defined on Cold Press.

Here is an example of some color tests I did side by side on Hot Press (back) and Cold Press (front):

Lemur in a sombrero prefers Cold Press, like me.

I gave Cold Press another shot on the last night of class, and this is what happened (based off of this sketch):


I wasn't able to use my ink brush, instead I tried using the paint, itself to fill in the lines I wanted so badly to see. 

I hope to keep painting and I can only imagine that making the promise to update you all on my progress will push me forward. And then, maybe slowly over time, my palette will continue to grow to a more masterful size, like Dan's

Dan Moynihan's watercolor palette is well-loved!

Thanks for reading!

Cheers!
~Renee




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Watercolor my World

It's the beginning of Spring here in Boston, a time of new beginnings and rebirth. There's no mistaking a change in the air when you get that one extra hour of sunlight! In the Spring, I start to reassess where I've been and where I'm going. This year I chose to focus on my art style. Lucky for me to find three talented ladies in the same boat!

As we previously mentioned, the goal of coming together on this blog is to help not only each other, but offer advice to anyone else who might need a lift. I'm thinking of it like a journal. Down the line, there's bound to be a story you'll connect with to help steer you in the right direction.

Here's my first story:

I studied oil painting in school by choice. 15 years ago, I had different goals and different influences, but things change. After school I got a job in the animation industry and suddenly I was a digital artist frantically learning new skills and software, letting my paints dry and crumble. How sad to forget about something you studied in such depth!?

A few months ago, tired of leaving them half full, I started to make myself draw in my sketchbooks. I thought it might be helpful to use Instagram to share photos of my sketches (social media "cheerleaders" are your best friends). Because of the reactions I got, I kept going. I learned to draw more freely and be less dependent on the Cmd+Z.


A few months into posting sketches, I pulled out my Pentel brush pen:


Having that solid pencil sketch made adding a more permanent line actually fun to do. Being able to manipulate a brush pen got me to thinking (uh-oh). 

Here's the conversation that happened in my head:

"I need to relearn how to paint."
"But oil paint is too messy."
"And smelly..."
"What if my cat eats the paint and dies?"
"There has to be another way."
"Water...
...Color"
"!"

It sounds so silly listed like that when actually, over time, I just developed new influences and became more fascinated in a particular picture book illustration style. (A style you just can't replicate in Photoshop, believe me I've tried!) My husband focused on watercolor in school and we had a "Painting Sunday" where he showed me some techniques. Our cat, Timmy, was happy I chose water over oil and so eager to pose:


I kept dabbling for a bit on my own:


Then I discovered a local watercolor class with illustrator, Dan Moynihan. I can't imagine taking a class these days unless the teacher is someone I greatly admire and want to learn from. Dan's style is cartoon. My style is cartoon. Perfect! I was relieved to find that class #1 had us starting from the very basics. There is absolutely no pressure to finish anything and make it look "perfect," which I have been trying to do for 15 years.

I've only been to a few classes so far, but taking a giant leap backwards has been extremely helpful. It can seem gruesome to have to start all over, but it's never too late if you don't freak out (*quote of the day). Patience is so hard to find, I know.

The reintroduction to value and hue studies is one of my particular favorites:


Through this simple test, I'm discovering what colors I like best and realizing I can probably subtract a few from my palette (i.e. second row from the top left - ultramarine and cobalt look close enough to probably choose just one):


My first palette (that I will eventually condense):
-Cobalt Blue
-Ultramarine
-Viridian Hue
-Sap Green
-Burnt Umber
-Yellow Ochre
-Quinacridone Gold
-Cadmium Yellow Hue
-Burnt Sienna
-Alizarin Crimson
-Cadmium Red Light Hue
-Cadmium Red


There you have it, the beginning of my sloooow, messy process of getting back into painting and the end of chapter one. If this ends up being a 25 chapter book, so be it. The second you stop learning is when the creativity stops as well, right? I'll do my best to share what I learn on this blog and I'll definitely keep posting frequent sketchbook photos on Instagram!

Please feel free to leave comments, ask questions, and so forth. I would love to keep the discussion alive!

Cheers!
~Renee