Saturday, January 14, 2012

Picture Story: winter winds

So, in the first week of December I had 2 out of 12 calendar graphics done... and sometimes that means that I flip through the old sketchbooks and look for things that I drew that I never quite got around to finishing. I needed a picture for January, stat.

I think I had some idea about a girl and a snowman sledding. But I was out of time to sketch new ideas...

The snowman with the kite was what I found. There's a note at the bottom that says "for January 2010." What that actually means is that I sketched this in 2009, and was thinking it could be one of the graphics for the 2010 calendar.

I scanned the sketch, converted it to a blue page and printed that. I inked the snowman and the kite, but nixed the birds (which were supposed to be bluejays).

Now, the snowman is wearing a scarf and a hat, so I needed something to fill those in with... this scarf appears in a lot of my winter pictures, like this one.

sapphire sunshine alchemy
For the sky - I wanted something more than just a photo of clouds. So, I decided to combine a scan of one of my paintings with a photo of the sky. I picked "sapphire sunshine alchemy." I played with the color settings and changed out the magenta and yellow - and made the layer more saturated with blue... and then used some layer styles to combine it with a photo of clouds.

"winter winds"
And this is what the finished picture looks like, of course after I filled in the snowman, the snow, and the kite. And that became the graphic for January 2012... so it only took me 2 years to get around to executing it, ha.

Technically, my illustrations may be digital, but visually, they are an accumulation of physical things: drawings, photos, paintings, a scarf... and then there are all those snowflakes in the background that I designed individually. There's a point at which making the picture seems mechanical: draw it, scan the drawing, convert that to a blue page, print it, ink it, scan that, block the scan, and then start filling it with bits and pieces of digital files - like photos or scans... but all that stuff comes from somewhere. I actually stood out in my backyard photographing the sky on some summer day. And I actually went out and took photos of tree bark - which were what was used on the arms of the snowman.

Anyway, it snowed here in Michigan for the first time in 2012 just yesterday. It's pretty, but I would rather not have to drive in it. I guess I like my snow better when it's on paper. At least then I don't have to scrape it off my car.
: )


Tabor said...

That is a very luminescent snowman. Lovely work. You should be proud to have accomplished that at last.

Catherine said...

What a sweet snowman picture Sarah! If it keeps snowing here, I will soon be able to build a snowman outside. Hopefully he is as cute as yours!

Happy January!
xo Catherine

S. Etole said...

This is so fascinating the way you do this.

Out on the prairie said...

lovely picture, very well done

Cloudia said...

fun works!

Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

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Happy Little Trees Studio said...

I had to take a creative suite class for school and I didn't retain much from it. I recall having to take photos of textures for what you're doing. It's HARD! For me anyway. Love seeing your process. Also, I love snow if I don't have to drive in it too!