Friday, February 26, 2010

Picture Story: the House

Yes, it's been some time since I wrote a blog entry. I admit, I opened one of those twitter accounts, and well, it's just really easy to log into twitter and tweet... Given that I'm not a spammer or a phishing scam, the lack of word verifications or "moderated comments" and the instant sort of interaction is just kind of welcome, and well, immediate.

So, since it's been a while, this is a piece I recently completed: "the house"

I made this for myself. This seems surprising even to me, but it's been a long time since I made an illustration and actually hung it up in my abode. I've made a lot of prints, and I've framed or matted a lot prints and given them away as gifts... but it's been ages since I did anything just for myself.

So, I decided I wanted something new to hang over the computer in my office that I do most of my work on. Now, my office is a painted a pastel peachy-pink color. I believe it was called "mermaid" on the paint chip. I picked it simply because I had bought really gaudy clearance priced fabric at JoAnn Fabrics which I had decided I was going to hang on the walls like they do on those makeover shows that used to be all over HGTV, at least, they were 7 years ago when I painted my office. Mind you, I didn't paint my office in response to a makeover show. I did it because otherwise the walls were white and pocked cement. Part of the appeal of fabric was to cover up some of the cement: it was less spackling that I had to do.

So, the fabric was pastel pinky-peach, and I bought paint to match... so, the artwork that I was going to create to replace the chalk pastel drawing of irises which has been hanging there for 7 years — well, it needed to match that color scheme.

I like calla lilies, so, I decided to draw them in a peach tone... and that was pretty much where this composition began: with peach calla lilies. Amusingly, the first set of callas I drew — I wasn't so hot on them after I had them scanned & cut. So, I drew a second set of callas, and those are the ones that ended up in the picture.

So, with the callas, I had half my composition set, but, of course, there needed to be something more. So, I grabbed the sun that I had used on summer hummingbirds, and added that to the composition... and of course, I wanted some birds, since apparently I'm kind of a bird person. I had also been thinking about drawing a birdhouse around the same time, so it seemed only natural to incorporate it into the piece.

I decided I wanted to use tree swallows. So, I opened up the file with my tree swallows that I drew for calla lilies & tree swallows and picked the birds that I wanted. I actually printed out my selection and colored over them... and then since I decided on the birdhouse, I actually sat down in front of my iphoto on a Saturday morning and sketched out the tree swallow looking into the nest box from one of my personal photos. So, I scanned those into photoshop and cut them.

Then, of course, I had to draw the house. From a drafting perspective, it was a piece of cake. But then, I had to fill it. Now, if I had drawn this in the fall, spring, or summer, this would have been less of a chore. In those months I could just go out and photograph some wood. But, no, I made this in the middle of winter, so I had to scour my reserve of photos for a serviceable shot of wood. Amusingly, the wood of the birdhouse is actually a photo of a telephone pole.

So, I made my birdhouse and transferred it into the illustration, and added my tree swallows, and sized them to the box, and played with the sun with layers to get the rays to flow over certain parts of the picture...

And in the mean time, I had to make the sky: which is a combination of various layers between a scan of an abstract acrylic painting and a photograph of a cloudy sky... both of which were manipulated with color layers to gradate the background from green to peachy-pink to a hint of lavender that runs into an aqua blue... because the fabric that hangs behind my computer is not only pinky-peach, but also has peach flowers with seafoam green stems... seafoam being the green equivalent of aqua.

And so, I have my new picture! After 7 long years my office is getting a mini-makeover.

Of course, now I have to frame it.

1 comment:

cabin + cub said...

Lovely picture! Love the cute birds!