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.


SueAnn said...

Beautiful...such detail!!

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!