Saturday, May 30, 2009

Picture Story: 2 bunnies on a hill -- sarahkdesigns

"2 bunnies on a hill" available at sarahkdesigns

I draw, so I tend to think that the picture stands on its own. I'm just adroit like that. I suppose if I was in the business of using words to illustrate, then I would be a writer...

"2 bunnies on a hill" was made for one of my calendars. Every year I spend three weeks before Christmas putting together the calendar that I had vowed would already be done. (This happens every year: I get everything done at the last minute and vow that won’t happen next year… it always does, no matter how early I start).

Anyway, I make the calendar for my family: parents, grandparents, sister, aunts, uncle, etc. So, while I may be a slacker twenty-something who wears black t-shirts and maryjanes and listens to Pink Floyd… well, that’s not my Grandma. So, the calendar has to be family friendly, because I expect my relatives to hang this up somewhere and show it off.

I also like the calendar to be seasonally appropriate. We all live in the Midwest, so we have all 4 seasons. “2 bunnies on a hill” was originally created for the April slot of my 2006 calendar. And it did not look the way it does now when I had originally finished it.

This was one of my early digital collages. Digital collage was a technique that I fell into way back when I was working on a comic book. Since the comic I was working on was supposed to be black and white and I knew it would be printed digitally, I wanted to do something anathema to comics: incorporate texture! So, I spent a lot of time back then scanning pen & ink drawings and filling them with scans of photos or magazine clippings or scans of objects… Anyway, the 2006 calendar was my first to feature digital collages instead of just reproductions of my drawings or paintings. Ah, modern technology.

So, the “drawn” portion of the image literally actually is just the 2 bunnies and the silhouette of the hill. Everything else is present due to the magic of photoshop. The grass was created in a series of layers using the “grass” brush in photoshop. I just kept changing the size of the brush. I started small at the top of the hill and got progressively larger by the bottom of the page. Then I think I ran the layer through a filter.

The sky was created from a scan of one of my older salt on watercolor paintings. It was back in 2000 or 2001 when I started doing abstract salt on watercolor paintings. I did a series of them for an aqueous media class, this was one of them. Anyway, I scanned the painting and flipped it over on itself with layer styles. So, if you look closely you might notice that one side kind of mirrors the other. I think I also put a color layer over the altered scan of the painting.

The stars were created using the shape tool. They are also “filled” with portions of a scan of salt on watercolor, although it reads more faintly. I wanted the coloration of the stars to be like those glow in the dark stars that they sell in toy stores. I always thought those were nifty. I had a few of them as a teenager.

The fill of the bunnies was recycled from a comic book project. And that fill has been used in many of my digital collages. The original file for the fill was created from a scan of a picture in a magazine. It was actually a rug on the floor in the picture. Anyway, I scanned it, and copied and pasted and rotated parts of it, and used the clone stamp tool until I had what amounted to a much larger sampling of “rug” (or curlyfur.jpeg as it is known in my files). It’s original purpose as a fill was supposed to be (ironically) for a demonic rabbit.

Anyhow, when I was deciding what I wanted in my etsy shop I decided to go back and revisit what was originally known simply as “April.psd”. I think I wanted something purple. As it turns out, violet is my favorite color. So, I decided to liven up the sky with a wash of purple and periwinkle that mirrored the shape of the hill. And for consistency and color relationships, I decided to change up the color of the grass; making it a more olive shade of green and lighter at the top of the hill.

I’ve certainly been surprised at how many prints of this image that I have sold : )