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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: art, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. M.C. Escher inspired Tessellation

Final MetamorphosisTessellation-01

It seemed to me that if M.C. Escher had Adobe Illustrator that he could have developed his metamorphosis tessellations with a bit more ease. At least that was my initial thought. Once I got into the development of this piece I soon realized that using Illustrator really did not make the process any easier. As with all vector art, the building of the shapes and then the rendering of the shadows took a lot of time.

The effort was worth it. I now have a solid process figured out and look forward to developing more metamorphosis tessellations.


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2. ZigZag Style

WFTA 2013 blue

Every year I create a poster for our local Humane Society that promotes their most important fundraising event, The Walk For The Animals. For 2013 they asked me if I would design an image that could be screen-printed onto T-Shirts. I jumped at the opportunity. Then I learned that I could only use the limited colors from the logo, no gradients, and no special effects. I love a challenge.


Also, I love the graphic black and white work of Rockwell Kent. With such a limited palette, he like many of his contemporaries defined form via silhouette shadows and then gave the illusion of 3-D with fine lines and zigzag shapes along the transitional edges between white and black.  

Using Rockwell Kent’s style as my inspiration, I developed a process in Adobe Illustrator that uses flat opaque color but along transitional edges I applied a zigzag pattern. From normal viewing distance, the zigzag “softens” the stark change from dark to light as our human eyes close in the gaps. Close up the zigzags add an almost woodcut feel.

How was this done?

  1. The black lines were created with the Pen Tool and then I adjusted their weights using the Variable Width Tool.
  2. The shadows and highlights were drawn on separate Layers (without zigzags).
  3. I built about four different pattern brushes from triangles.
  4. I applied a pattern brush to a portion of a shadow’s edge (only the portion transitioning from dark to light).
  5. I adjusted the pattern brush with the Variable Width Tool.
  6. I repeated steps 4 and 5 for all the shadow and highlight shapes. When all the shadows and highlights had zigzags and variable widths, I used Expand Appearance to make them permanent.
  7. I used either Unite or Merge from Pathfinder, to finalize the shapes with zigzag edges.
  8. Lastly I recolored the shapes. 

When done the final image has moved past Rockwell Kent’s style into a new derivative. I think that is how it should be. Digital art learns from the past and builds upon it, making imagery that exceeds boundaries.

Close up2 Close up 3

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3. cleaning house

i'm having a WINTER sale in my shop all throughout the remainder of the season...until the first day of spring. and i know, i'll be the only one who will be sad to see my beloved winter go. *sigh*

{super bowl SNOW this weekend? yes, please! :)))}

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4. Graphic Design

FINAL Unity logos RGB 1-01 

Our Next Chapter was the capital campaign program for Unity of Fort Lauderdale.

I designed the 12-page booklet, and miscellaneous collateral pieces. I created all the vector images as well. The photographs were shot by someone else.

The puzzle theme was exciting to figure out. I am especially thrilled to now know how to take any image and map it to interlocking jigsaw puzzle pieces. Most puzzle graphics I see sort of cheat by not having the image flow across the puzzle pieces. I know the secret to making this happen


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5. Sunrise

0 Small Dog's House Cover-01

I love rendering weather scenes. This is just one of many images of mine that incorporates a specific weather or time-of-day. You can probably tell that the clouds were pure delight to create. I find silhouettes to be important for any scene. The negative spaces and shapes formed with the silhouette can either help or hinder the visual communication.


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6. Emoticons


Don't you just love giving emotions to animals? I do. This little guy has been displayed hundreds of times.


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7. Products, Props and Tools

Products, props and tools-01 Products, props and tools-02

Here are some examples of my vector renderings for specific products, props or tools. I love rendering objects just as much as I love creating characters and telling stories. There is nothing better than getting into the fine detail of a rivet or a bolt.

It is so much fun to simplify the shapes and then make those shapes come to life with gradients and transparency.


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8. a method to my madness...

i always love seeing how other artists come up with their masterpieces...from the moment of conception to the finished product. 
so, i thought i'd share my 3 step process...from the tiny, super tight little thumbnail to the full size sketch (same size as the canvas) to the completed painting.
{such royal treatment for a princess...;)}
step 1
super tight little thumbnail

step 2
full size sketch

step 3
finished painting

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9. Paper Toy


I love folding paper and making 3-D graphics. Designer paper toys seemed like a perfect combination of building in 3-D and applying imagery to the surface.

Basically a designer paper toy is like a glorified package design, in that you have to make sure the foundational structure works first, then you get to add the illustrative elements onto the structure. Always making sure that the illustrations and graphics can be read from any angle and point-of-view.

When designing the structure I used the trial and error method. It was so much fun watching this toy take shape.

If you want to build your own copy of this exact paper toy dog, download the template here:  Download Small Dog Paper Toy

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10. Winter Birch Scene

Winter Birch Scene-01

These birds in winter were created for a DVD cover. The client chose the color palette, but I also adore the subtle muted colors punched up by the red berries and the birds.  As I look on it in sunny Florida, I actually feel a chill.

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11. Dragon Child

Dragon Child

This piece was commissioned for a training session for psychologists and counselors entitled “Wake the Sleeping Dragon - Nurturing the Divinity Within Each Child”.

The creative brief contained the following information:

The popular children's song "Puff the Magic Dragon" told the haunting but bittersweet tale of a child who befriends a wonderful and mystical creature, only to discover that the magic fades as childhood is left behind. More recently, the best selling Eragon book series by author Christopher Paolini depicted a trilogy of epic and enchanting dragon tales. Throughout time mankind has associated the dragon with an alluring power and mystique. The Vietnamese believed the dragon represented universal forces of life, while the Chinese believed that dragons possessed mystical powers of fertility and immortality. Recent advances in science have revealed some of the hidden powers within the DNA and neuroplastic potential of humans. Perhaps the long, winding serpent image of the dragon is nothing more than a representation of what can potentially emerge from the DNA template that gave rise to each and every human child. Our job as a society is to nurture and tame the magnificent creature within, so the greatness of each child can fully emerge and integrate within the social constructs of relationship, family, society, and humanity. Within each child lies a sleeping dragon that embodies the full potential of greatness that is the human soul.

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12. A very special dog house

1st dog house-01

This might not look like your ordinary doghouse, but it is for an extraordinary dog.

Patterned after gingerbread infused Victorian architecture, this is one special house.

I suppose it works equally as well as a dollhouse or play house too.

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13. Hearts and Love

Hearts and Love-01

Shapes, shapes, shapes! I love shapes and repeated decorative motifs.

Need I say more?

I guess transparency and gradients add to the overall delicacy of the piece as well.

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14. Dark Horse Gives Nathan Drake The Art Book Treatment

By Davey Nieves

The pantheon of PlayStation has a rich library of quality games, but few have impacted the art of storytelling like the UNCHARTED franchise. Developed by Naughty Dog, the studio behind The Last of Us, the UNCHARTED series is this era’s Indiana Jones. The series protagonist, fortune hunter Nathan Drake has achieved mascot like status for the PlayStation brand. With the success of previous entries The Art of The Last of Us and The Art of Naughty Dog, Dark Horse Comics and Naughty Dog are launching The Art of the UNCHARTED Trilogy in April 2015.

The three games which spanned the life of the PlayStation 3 console fill this book with never-before-seen art from Naughty Dog spanning UNCHARTED: Drake’s Fortune, UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves, and UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception, with insightful commentary from the games’ creators, this epic volume is an incredible opportunity to own a piece of UNCHARTED history.

“With each UNCHARTED game we make we strive to set a new bar for video game art, design, and tech,” said Erick Pangilinan, art director at Naughty Dog. Over the course of the last decade there hasn’t been a game developer that has raised the bar with each outing like Naughty Dog. Combine this with Dark Horse Comics eye for building gorgeous bookshelf prize collections and this feels like a book that could itself be a treasure in the game’s history.

No word yet on whether or not The Art of The UNCHARTED Trilogy will have any glimpses at the series highly anticipated fourth console installment Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End which is also set to release sometime in 2015 on the PlayStation 4.

unnamed 2 Dark Horse Gives Nathan Drake The Art Book Treatment


Available in April, The Art of the UNCHARTED Trilogy retails for $39.99 and can be preordered now from AmazonBarnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

1 Comments on Dark Horse Gives Nathan Drake The Art Book Treatment, last added: 1/28/2015
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15. Friends in a Tree

Friends in tree-01This is a great example of the illusion of texture. I built many brushes to get the furry tail on the squirrel, the dots on the tree trunk and the effect on the puffy clouds. Even the background contains a brush to get the subtle surface texture you see here.  All I can say is that brushes speed up the work, big time!


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16. San Francisco Tea Party

If I could I would love to have a tea party with a dragon, friendly of course. The style used for this work is a bit more fluid than most of my vector pieces. I especially love the line work on this one, because I pushed the capabilities of brushes and it turned out unique.

I bet they eat their way through the whole pile of fortune cookies.

San Francisco Piece FINAL-01


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17. Sunday Morning Motivation: Numbers

Be inspired by many, aim to inspire at least one.
ballerina with balloon

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18. Color Me Crazy

Today I embarked on combining techniques, process, and drawing developed throughout last year. I started a personal piece, but now it's time to apply it to the real world, a custom request. I did my research and concept sketch, now ready to paint.

I had to start with my color palette. As much as I love color, my head spins very fast and gets dizzy when trying to figure out the best combination of colors. I know what WORKS, but until I see it visually, I'm a jumble of thoughts.

This is where Design Seeds color palettes come into play. They're amazing! At first I didn't really care for them because most show subtle or value changes. This time I went to pinterest and found many palettes with variety. I'm stoked!

I based my choices on the photo being used for the color swatches. If the photo works...which is usually nature...then I know the color works. I also like how you have more colors to choose from BECAUSE of the photo. They don't swatch every color. Having those extra choices are great for backgrounds.

Once I print out the palette I go to my home made glazing color chart and view finder. I search for the colors within the palette and jot down the colors I need to re-create it. This takes a lot of the guess work out so I save time in the long run.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

There are two charts I'd like to point out. One is a mixed color chart. Here each square has been individually mixed and applied. Very grueling, especially if you have 20 colors in a palette like I do! I started this one years ago when I first stumbled upon this method by Suzie Short. I never finished it. :( Unfortunately my palette has changed so I can't use most of it.

The second one is a glazed color chart. Here you paint one set of color strips vertically, let them dry, and paint a second one horizontally, "glazing" one color on top of the other. I prefer this method and I grabbed it from this video by Kelly Eddington. Although it's for laying color on top of one another, not mixing, I can work from there and mix on my palette. I usually test the color out on a scrap piece of paper and alter it just a tad if I need to. Very rarely.

The other brand new approach to painting is the skin. I did a very traditional technique, wet onto wet. It's usually quite difficult since I paint so small, but thought I'd give it a go instead of my usual wet onto dry. To my surprise, it worked very well, and gives me a great base to start with. Yay! I used my usual gold, rose, and phthalo blue too. :)

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The Daily Sketch

I have discovered I'm not too chic about keeping up with a daily commitment. It's the effort that counts right? Numbering the Daily Sketches has already been off several times, so instead, I'm simplifying it more and NOT numbering them. They are dated, and that's enough for me. Just assume they'll be in each post. ;)

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19. lips red as the rose....

©the enchanted easel 2015

guess who? ;)

{hint-she truly is the fairest of them all...}

©the enchanted easel 2015

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20. Love thy Studio + The Daily Sketch

A sink full of dirty half rinsed dishes; toys and paper scattered waiting for a foot to stomp on them; cluttered dining room table ranging from a stuffed bunny to a lint roller; laundry decorating our couch and our bedroom dresser; and shoes beckoning to be tripped over at the front door.

This is my house, most every day. It makes me feel squished, with no room to move without knocking something over or stepping onto something. I'm clumsy and that always means I will stub my toe, ram my elbow, slam my hand, or bang my knee. It's crazy how many nicks and bruises I get.

Yet, I look to my right and I see sun light beaming in from the windows in my studio.
An immediate "ahhh" relaxes my mind and all is right again.

If this winter has taught me anything, it's that my studio truly is my place of solitude. 

I used to tell people it was because I think artists are supposed to say that. It's expected of us to love our studio, a place where the creation happens, a place filled with things that inspire. Mine has been in a constant state of change since I moved away from home to college back in 2000.

When we moved into this house I was so excited to have a space I could settle in and not worry for a long time. I didn't expect it to be so cumbersome.

My studio has poor insulation, so during the hot Iowa summers and freezing Iowa winters, it's very uncomfortable at different times of the day. I've had to continuously change my schedule to fit. I've had to move everything constantly so that Brian could get to the windows for more insulation, or to add carpet scraps, or or or. And I know more is coming.

But this week, with all of the sun, regardless of the temp, my studio has been bright, warm, inviting, and mine. No more moving clutter to work on the dining room table, no more stepping on stuff when I get up to grab something I need, none of that. I feel whole.

I will bundle up, buy another mini heater for my toes, I will put a fan on my face and wear ice cubes, whatever it takes. I love my studio!

The icing on the cake? My daughter being able to spend time in the studio with me. That's what I've envisioned for a long time, my hope, my joy today. She makes the studio brighter with her smile, her giggle, and her curiosity. Bringing out the crayola crayons doesn't hurt either.

There is one other place in my entire house that I find peaceful and full of light. The only other place in the house that is always filled with the light rays, and that is our bathroom. It's silly, but when we moved in it was our first project, and it set the tone for the whole house (what we dream). It's full of birds. :)

It's so easy for me to be distracted by all the chores, they pull me away from my work and drain my creativity. Yet, last night, I didn't let it get to me. Here are this week's Daily Sketches and joys, #10, #11, and #12.

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21. Artist :: Jonathan Bartlett

Posted by Jeanine






Jonathan Bartlett isn’t just an incredibly talented artist, he’s also a fantastic storyteller. His work has a nostalgic feel reminiscent of Norman Rockwell, but his subject matter is very contemporary and always delivered with a deeply thought-provoking point of view. This juxtaposition of golden-age type imagery and modern day content make his work truly special; It’s as moving & meaningful as it is beautiful, and really what great illustration is all about.

Jonathan’s worked with a long list and wide variety of clients across editorial, advertising & book markets. Most notably was his recent collaboration with Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply to illustrate a full-building exterior mural for their flagship store (shown above) as well as window displays and other assets to promote the brand. His work has been recognized by Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, and the Art Directors Club, among others.

It was hard to choose just a few pieces from his portfolio to share here, so definitely stop by Jonathan’s website to see more!

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22. *charming* little companions....

©the enchanted easel 2015

©the enchanted easel 2015
in progress. :)

{snow white, truly the fairest of them all...coming along nicely.}

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23. French superhero gang bang mural under fire

A mural at a French hospital showing Wonder Woman getting it every which way from Supergirl, the Flash, Batman and Superman in the most crude ways possible has generated controversy. LINK SO NSFW.

You don’t say.

BUT it’s not quite that simple, as the fresco is sen as testing the limits of free speech in the wake of Charlie Hebdo.

Fans on the Facebook page have been defending the fresco by referring to the recent Charlie Hebdo case and to the principle of “freedom of expression,” with many suggesting it was hypocritical to say the Prophet Muhammed could be depicted in cartoon form but that you shouldn’t create an image implying the rape of the health minister. One of the comments reads: “Does [Marisol Touraine] feel above the Gods? ‘Cause apparently, it’s fine to caricature Gods…”

Others blamed the Facebook group for publishing the image, saying that such frescoes are “part of our [medical students] traditions and had never caused problems before.”

While some saw the piece as condemning the French health care system, and others saw it as a misogynist message, some thought it was good times.
“Others blamed the Facebook group for publishing the image, saying that such frescoes are “part of our [medical students] traditions and had never caused problems before.”


Current plans call for the fresco—whose artist is unknown—to be painted over.

Just to throw in a comment on the serious aspects of this matter, I don’t know how the French freedom of speech law operates, but pornography—as defined by local standards—is not covered here in the US. In other words, it is probably not the kind of imagery you want to see while you are in to get your gall bladder removed.

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24. Art post example


Integer venenatis, eros nec congue porttitor, urna diam iaculis nunc, pretium interdum eros mauris eu ligula. Nam euismod mauris quis ex mattis, et aliquam elit malesuada. Vivamus at eros libero. Nunc et sem dolor. Curabitur mi diam, sollicitudin et placerat nec, cursus lacinia purus. Nam sit amet dolor sit amet purus maximus posuere. Donec imperdiet ante non mauris commodo vestibulum. Nam a nunc et felis semper pellentesque. Aenean finibus, nibh vitae luctus vehicula, felis velit condimentum leo, rutrum posuere urna ligula quis urna. Pellentesque ut molestie erat. Donec suscipit lectus sed blandit ullamcorper. Maecenas convallis euismod dolor et efficitur. Etiam a massa sit amet risus bibendum porttitor. Fusce ultricies lacinia nisl, sit amet porttitor neque pretium quis. Vestibulum vulputate velit vitae pulvinar vestibulum.

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25. smitten...

©the enchanted easel 2015
little bluebird.

but hey, you might be too if you were pecking the lips that belonged to the "fairest of them all"!

[first full painting of 2015...DONE!!!}


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