Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sketchbook - Edgartown Lighthouse By Moonlight

I'm back from my time on Martha's Vineyard.  I'll be going back in August for a few more days, but for now I'm back and armed with tons of new references photos that I took while I was out there.  I did a little bit of sketchbook work while I was there, but also wound up bringing home lots of ideas for new paintings.  

This watercolor is one small painting I did in my sketchbook (size 5" x 8") while I was on the island.  I snapped some photos of Edgartown Lighthouse on a moonlit night and then painted from those once I got back inside, since it was too dark to be able to paint outside.  

I've never actually painted a moonscape before, so this was some good intro practice.  I wanted the colors to be much darker and more saturated, but the sketchbook watercolor paper could only handle so much.  When I tried to go bolder with the color, my initial washes kept pulling up, even when they had been thoroughly dried.  Lesson learned - I definitely need a heavier weight paper to paint a proper moonscape.  

On an unrelated note, the free worldwide shipping offer that I posted about yesterday is still available from my Society6 shop.  If there is something you've had your eye on, now might be your time to act!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Introducing...Tank Tops!

Tank tops are now available in my Society6 shop! Now your favorite designs can work for your warmer weather wardrobe (try saying that five times fast). 

Also, free shipping worldwide is available through the end of the day on purchases from my shop. Have a look!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

To the sea we go!

I'll be on Martha's Vineyard for the next week.  Hello ocean breezes! theory at least, since I know they've been getting the heat wave, too.  Anything must be better than the mid-90s heat that we've been having here!

I'm planning to take lots of photographs (good camera and iPhone both) and hopefully do some drawing and painting in my sketchbook while I'm there.  I'd like to have some new watercolor paintings to post when I get back.

In the meantime, you can follow along with my photos from the island on Instagram.  Just follow me @JackieOcean. You can also click on here to see previous blog posts with my artwork from Martha's Vineyard.  Here's a few photos from last summer on the island.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Painting a Wall Mural

This past weekend I went to my brother and and sister-in-law's new house to help them paint a mural in their living room.  Donna, my sister-in-law, is an artist is well, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to do some teamwork painting.  

Donna had already picked out her basic idea and painted the base coat color on the wall before I arrived.  She also had paint for the mural ready in the house just from painting walls after they moved in.  However, if you were looking to do a mural and didn't want to have to buy tons of paint, I highly recommend going to either Home Depot or Lowe's to buy test containers of paint.  For roughly $3, they will mix a half pint container of whatever color you want.  Just pick out the paint chip, take it to the desk, and within a few minutes you'll have what you need.  I do this all the time for furniture and other home decor DIY projects.  

I had borrowed a portable overhead projector from my classroom to help us plot out the mural.  Donna showed me her reference images she had picked out and I took the one she liked best in to Photoshop to do some edits.  I wound up making two files, one for the left side of the wall and one for the right side, since the projector sheets are 8.5" x 11".  I did a test with Sharpie marker on some blank transparency sheets to figure out approximately what size we would need.  We had a limited amount of space in the room to back the projector up and focus it, so it was good that we did this planning stage before making any files to print.  

I made each file no taller than 8.5", with the width being between 6" and 7.5" depending on the width of the tree.  I also converted the images to plain black silhouettes and then saved them as both a JPG and a PDF, since we didn't know which file type the print shop would prefer, and saved them on a USB stick.  We tried Staples first, but they were having some printer issues.  We had better luck at a FedEx Kinkos, where they were able to print two transparency sheets for roughly $1.20. 

The projector saved us a lot of time, since freehanding all of the branches would have taken forever to get them just the way we wanted.  To get some of the lower parts projected correctly, I just turned the projector on its side.  It was a little fuzzy in some areas, but we both have enough drawing experience that it wasn't a problem when it came to making edits.

Once we were done drawing everything out, it was time to start painting! We put an old blanket down to protect the floor and got to work.  It helped that we had good brushes, meant for acrylic painting, to use so that we could get a nice tapered end for the leaves and branches.  This is definitely not a design that you would want to use a stiff brush for.  

Donna and I took turns painting different areas.  I did a lot of the taller stuff, and we also took turns switching left and right sides so that everything would blend together in terms of leaf shapes.  I had to leave when it was about 90% done, so Donna finished off the last bits on her own.  Eventually she's going to go back and add a second coat so that the color is nice and uniform.  You can see an in progress shot from the early painting stages below.  

The finished mural turned out really nice, and it looks lovely in their living room.  It adds a great whimsical touch.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Two Whales

This illustration shows two whales swimming in the ocean.  I always enjoy working with ocean color palettes. This piece was also inspired by stained glass and batik artwork.  

I have added this design to my Society6 shop. Take a look!  Free shipping is still available through midnight on July 14th.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Free Shipping from my shop!

Free Shipping* worldwide this week when you use the following promo code in my Society6 shop.  Perfect timing since I've been uploading lots of new art lately!  Just click on the link below and the promotion will be automatically applied to your cart.

Promotion expires July 14, 2013 at Midnight Pacific Time.

*Offer excludes Stretched Canvases, Framed Art Prints, and Throw Pillows with insert.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Not Today

"There is only one thing we say to Death."  Here's a design that Game Of Thrones fans might like.  If you click on the larger view, you can see the wolves that are tucked away in the circle. 

I've been wanting to try a design using hand drawn or painted lettering, and I thought that this phrase would be perfect to try out for a design.  I painted the words with ink and then scanned and assembled everything in Photoshop.  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tree Rings

Yesterday I finished making this tree ring pattern in Illustrator.  I love all of the naturally occurring patterns that can be found outdoors, and tree rings are a great example of that.  

I've added this design to my Society6 shop.  I removed the background color for the t-shirt option so that the tree rings can be printed on any color you want.  Take a look, and have fun with the color combinations!