Sunday, February 19, 2012

Picture Story: calla lilies & tree swallows


Of all the pictures I have ever created, this one has always been my favorite. Shh, don't go telling my other pictures, they'll be all jealous and stuff.

With the exception of the birds — I drew the sketched the entire composition... and then followed the process of converting the sketch to a blue page, inking that, printing out a color fill and then coloring that with colored pencils, and well, a whole bunch of editing... you know, that same paragraph I type up virtually every time I explain how I translated a sketch into an illustration.

Yes, this was once just an outline on a white sheet of paper, before it was an entire production combining a digital scan of a painting, a digital scan of a colorized print-out of my calla lilies, and a digital scan of my drawings of tree swallows.  The tree trunks and the leaves were done with photoshop filters - as this picture pre-dated me owning a digital camera (otherwise I surely would have photographed some tree bark).

Anyway, there are 2 things I remember most vividly about this picture.
One is that I re-edited the calla lilies about 3 times, because there was something that I just didn't have right about the outline around them - and actually ended up mostly painting in the outline in photoshop until I was happy with it.

And the other is that the tree swallows were the first set of birds that I simply drew out on bristol - absent of any actual composition, to scan and cut.  Back in the olden days - when I created an illustration I drew the entire thing on one sheet of paper by hand... this was really the first time I drew the parts separately and put them together.  These were literally the first bird graphics that I meticulously removed from a white background in photoshop.

It's a strange thing to remember - but it's what springs to mind the most when I look at this image - as it was a point in a learning curve.

Anyway, calla lilies & tree swallows has always been one of my favorite illustrations, albeit simply for the visual.  It's intricate choreographed chaos.

4 comments:

SueAnn said...

Beautiful...such detail!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Out on the prairie said...

this is very nice, I am always intrigued by calla lillies

R. J. said...

Oh my! How neat is that! I envy all of you creative people. I'm one of those practical, left-brained people who always says, "Why didn't I think of that?"

TexWisGirl said...

oh, my. this is just stunning!