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Inspiration behind the Enamel Beach Pin

Beach Pin - 1" enamel pin by Eileen McKenna
I sketched an idea for a beach pin on a post it note. It was a simple illustration of the perfect spot at the beach. To show my love for the beach and summer. I added a rainbow umbrella as a nod to my dad, who always had an umbrella attached to the arm of his beach chair.

I first started drawing the design with a stylus on my iPad, but I wanted crisp straight edges, so I switched to the desktop and the mouse. The black lines in the illustration indicated where the metal of the pin will be – I chose gold. (The colored enamel is in the areas between the metal.) I love enamel pins because they are dimensional illustrations!

I’m was so excited when the beach pins arrived and one came on a trip to the beach. Look how good it looks on my beach hat!
Beach Pin - 1" soft enamel pin with rubber clutch
Beach Pin – 1″ soft enamel pin with rubber clutch
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Order one and pin it to your hat or bag. It’s the perfect way to show your love for summer and the beach. Wear it on your beach hat, pin it to your bag, or add it to a bottle of wine with a ribbon.
Beach Pin - 1" soft enamel pin with rubber clutch. Celebrate summer!

 

 


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Summer = Swim Team

purplegoggles
I can’t believe summer is just weeks away. School is ending, and summer swim team will be starting! If you’ve been following for a while, you know I find a lot of inspiration at the pool. Here’s a recap:

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Goodbye Summer…Hello Fall!

beachwalk
I’d love to squeeze in one more beach day, but other than that I’m ready for the hot and humid weather to end. I’m looking forward to those crisp Fall days, with blue skies and beautiful foliage all around. I’m excited about new seasonal things to inspire me – leaves, acorns, pumpkins. I’ve already started doodling and collecting them. Maybe it’s too soon, but it’s nice to have new “material” to work from! Are you ready for Fall?
acornsketches


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Results of my “Assembly Line Painting” experiment. {Please vote for your favorite!}

assemblyfinal
I finished the four paintings that I working on in “assembly line” fashion. Click here to read more about how I approached working on these paintings.

Results: The results of the experiment are best described by this analogy: It’s like raising kids. You raise them in the same way – same environment, same food, activities, etc. but they all require different special attention and they all turn out different. And with each kid, you are a bit wiser (and more tired) so you do things differently each time – but maybe not better.

This is the inspiration painting:
bloomwave

The four painting above are numbered. Some of them were “worked” on more. For # 1-3 I used white gouache. As I worked I wasn’t sure what methods would be most successful – more details? more shadows? more white? more variation in color?

I’d love to hear what you have to say! Leave a comment and answer my poll below.

 

 

Conclusion: (Don’t all experiments have a conclusion?) Working this way, really allowed me to explore this type of painting and subject matter in more and more depth. If I had only painted one beach landscape, I wouldn’t have had the chance to try different techniques.

TRY IT! and let me know your results (and thoughts). Link to this post or if you’re on Instagram use #assemblylinepainting. Can’t wait to see! 🙂


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Sketching & Doodling in Summer

beachphoto
Where are the lazy days of Summer? It feels busy. I’m trying hard to squeeze in sketching time, even at the pool. And if I’m at the beach, I’m always taking pictures and thinking about the next painting.

mymornings
More and more, I realize how inspired I am by the seasons. My paintings of flowers have been replaced by beach paintings, pool sketches, and shell patterns. I see other artists online who are working on Christmas cards for the upcoming season. It makes sense – so their products are ready in time, but I don’t think I could do that! I love immersing myself in a season (or theme) and continuing to explore it with each project. I couldn’t put the shells away and start doodling Santas, at least not at this point.
poolsketch


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Shell doodles

Today I was doodling some shells I found at the beach and one starfish that I bought :)! I was using my son’s gel pen which I love because it’s so smooth. (Unfortunately it’s not waterproof, which I previously found out the hard way.)
I really enjoyed studying the shells and drawing them. I promised a pattern every month, and I think it would be fitting to make a seashell pattern for July. Can’t wait to scan these in and play with color and layout. Stay tuned!

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