Eileen McKenna Art & Design

Watercolor Art | Creative Inspiration to help you be creative on a regular basis


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Digital Intervention with Photoshop

boywithleaves1
For the most part, I like to keep my art hand drawn or painted. The exception is when I’m working on designing a repeating pattern. But sometimes, my 20 years of experience with Photoshop, comes in handy with my artwork.

I painted this tree a couple of weeks ago and thought, “It really needs a boy playing in the leaves.”
treealone

Separately in my sketchbook I created a couple of version of the boy, based on my youngest son.
boywithleaves

I scanned both, opened them in Photoshop, and started playing around. The possibilities are endless!
boywithleavesfiguring

I choose one boy and added a shadow so he wouldn’t seem so “floaty.” I also added some extra leaves in an area that looked weird.

I don’t normally use Photoshop with my artwork because the original goal of “my creative resolution” was to develop my drawing and painting skills. But it is nice to have the tools to use, when the need arises!

 


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Striking while the iron is hot.

cupid-1
It is an amazing feeling when you are “into” a project and the creative ideas are flowing and you’re excited and inspired and motivated. I’m always better off “striking while the iron is hot” and working on a project when the inspiration first hits me. If I wait, sometimes the spark is gone. The enthusiasm dies down and it’s hard to motivate myself to work on the project.

When I’m in the “creative mode” I can move from one project to another and get things done, while new ideas are popping up, and it’s great! I’m on fire! Other times, I spend days thinking, “I should sit down and paint something.” For some reason, it is hard to sit down and do it, and gets harder as the days go by. Once I do sit down, and start, it all seems to come flowing back.

I also feel this way about blogging. I’ll be on a roll with ideas and posting, and then a couple of days go by and I start to question myself – “What should I post? I can’t post that!” I get kind of shy and start thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t share that mistake.” Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’ve made a commitment (to myself) to be honest about my successes and failures. The best medicine, again, is to sit down and share and get the ball rolling again.

Cupid was a Sharpie doodle in my sketchbook that I scanned and painted in Photoshop. Follow me on Instagram to see my other Valentine’s Day inspired posts!


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“Valentine’s Day Love” Pattern

valentine'sdaypattern
I’m in the heart/love frame of mind this week, as I am posting a new Valentine’s Day inspired photo to Instagram, every day from February 1st – the 14th! (@mycreativeresolution) So, it’s no surprise that my digital pattern of the month is also Valentine’s Day inspired.

I’m getting into creating art in Photoshop, especially with doodles that originate in my sketchbook. The process is a lot quicker than I thought it would be. And the amount of different textured brushes is awesome. Where have I been?!

I’m excited to continue trying new brushes – last month I used a watercolor brush for my January pattern. This month I used the Soft Oil Pastel brush. I wanted the background to have texture – but that can be an issue when you repeat the pattern because irregularities won’t line up. I used a fade so that it wouldn’t be an issue, but I’d like to learn more about the technicalities of creating repeating patterns.

It’s ironic that two of the things I’ve been working on so far this year, are so different! Linocut seems like an old craft, and digital illustration is on the other end of the spectrum! Time will tell how things shake out and in what form I continue to work.

It’s been so fun, I may have to do another pattern before February is over!

Here is the pattern without the repeat:
valpatternnorepeat