Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Picture Story: hummingbird on bleeding heart

I draw, I illustrate, I make pictures, I take pictures... and perhaps that is why I am so stymied whenever I try to write about one of my illustrations: I'm better with pictures than with words. And because I want people to draw their own conclusions and have their own thoughts and emotions and reactions when they look at my pictures.

So, this piece is adroitly titled: "hummingbird on bleeding heart"


And it can be found at my sarahkdesigns shop on etsy.
Quite obviously, it's an illustration of a male ruby-throated hummingbird perched on a stem of bleeding heart in front of a cloudy blue sky. Now, the hummingbird was drawn with colored pencil. He was composed with a whole group of hummingbirds that I actually drew for a piece entitled "hummingbirds & hollyhocks." And his female doppelganger appears in "summer hummingbirds."

Anyway, the stem of bleeding heart is something I photographed. I plopped the photo into photoshop, played with the colors and levels and all that, printed it out, and then drew over it with colored pencil. The sky was quite literally made from a digital photo of the sky which was put through several color adjustments and maybe a filter or two before being treated with a layer of color to make it brighter & more saturated.

Amusingly, when I planned this illustration, this was not what I had envisioned as the end result. This was actually supposed to be a picture of a hummingbird sitting on a watering can in front of a stem (or possibly stems) of bleeding heart. However, I wasn't thrilled with the way my watering can was progressing, and there was some issue with proportions and whether or not the composition would be horizontal or vertical... so, yeah, goodbye watering can!

Maybe someday I'll work up that composition with the watering can... someday.
For the time being I'm happy with the way this turned out.
And I look forward to next month when the ruby-throated hummingbirds should start showing up in the backyard, squeaking and squawking at each other as they get territorial over the bird koolaid in the feeder. They're a delightfully cantankerous bunch.

10 comments:

Kelly said...

...this is really cool. I love how you described how you put the piece together. I would have never thought to combine all those images that way. I like the title...

cabin + cub said...

oh lovely! I love bleeding heart flowers... they are so pretty! ;)

slommler said...

What a fun piece! And so colorful! I love it. Loved hearing of your process as well. Thanks so much!
Hugs
SueAnn

Frannie said...

What a wonderful story behind the "hummingbird on bleeding heart"
Love reading how you ended up with the final result. You love what you do.

Randy Emmitt said...

Sarah,

Great job on this! It is stunning and well composed.

muchlove said...

that is a beautiful illustration. You're very talented.

artangel said...

This is lovely Sarah- you say you don't like writing about your work but you actually do it very well!

Christina Silverio said...

Gorgeous work! I so love hummingbirds, and your description of your process was wonderful. :)

Bird Girl said...

You are enormously talented - neat story behind this piece!

Bella Sinclair said...

Wow, what a flower show you have here! Gorgeous photos. I can almost smell the fragrances through my screen. And this picture of the hummingbird is beautiful! Gorgeous colors, and the bleeding hearts are fantastic!