Search

Art with Erika

the journey of an artist – painting life with purpose

Tag

painting and art

“Angelica” – June 12, 2017

Thirty is a big year for many people. It’s a major turning point where we leave behind our ignorant twenties and start solidifying ourselves in the mold of adulthood. It is the beginning of many wonderful adventures, and from what I hear from older generations it is only the start of the best decades that lie ahead of us.  On May 27th I turned thirty-one, and I can say with full confidence, that thirty had been the most pivotal and rewarding year of my life. It was filled with a lot of heartache, depression, and turmoil that transformed into growth, forgiveness, confidence, and love. Twenty-nine was the year that I was found. Thirty was the year that I was smashed to pieces and made stronger through adversity.  I find that a lot of the people around me are following the same pattern.

A handful of months ago I was approached by a friend, and was commissioned to create a piece that embodied the woman who she aspired to be in the near future. “A woman who loves herself, a woman who is confident in her capabilities, and a woman who is open to what the world has to offer.”  She gravitated toward the “Rose Wine” painting that I did last year in the “Women and Wine Collection”, but she wanted a number of changes and additional elements:

Woman to be of average height instead of very tall

Darker skin tone

Squarer face

Medium length flowing curly hair (black with brown/red highlights)

Maxi dress with loose floral pattern and halter top neckline

Rose wine

Lavender and roses

A headband to represent an element of peace

Mint (color)

Background maroon, burgundy, or berry red

Confidence

Peace

Openness

I have to say that it was quite a challenge trying to balance everything out (but I really do love a challenge!)  To date, this is my favorite digital painting.  Thank you, Angelica, for setting up an incredible platform.  Without your inspiration, this would not have been possible.  Here’s to friendship, and a wonderful decade full of life, love, growth, and adventure!

Above is a slideshow of the step-by-step process, and below is the step-by-step process with descriptions for the making of “Angelica”.

01Angelica
Every painting starts with a rough sketch.  I like to draw over the original rough so that I can keep the livelihood of the lines.  Sometimes, when you re-sketch from scratch, the movement is lost and the drawing becomes too stiff.
02Angelica
I start with a blue pencil and sketch out the first roughs.
03Angelica
I create a new layer and re-sketch and fine-tune the lines.
04Angelica
The background will be very dark, and in order to balance out the colors properly, it is necessary to lay down the background so that I know how much the drawing will pop against it.  I almost never draw anything on a white background.  At the very least I use off-white or gray, so I can keep track of the whitest highlights of any piece.  You can’t see them as clearly if you are drawing on a white surface.
05Angelica
Because I am drawing a blush dress that transforms into rose wine, I change the hue of the blue lines to something that relates more to the final product.  It is very important that the harmony of the colors is generally figured out in the beginning of the painting, otherwise the final product could be unbalanced.  It’s much easier to fix these things in the beginning stages than to try to fix them when your painting is already finished.
06Angelica
My friend wanted “mint” incorporated somehow, and this step was more of a test to see if a mint colored dress would blend well as it transformed into a pink dress against a burgundy background.  So far, so good!
07Angelica
I add a peach tone to the pink and mint to warm up the painting.  I start filling in and layering the dress and wine to see where breaks and folds will happen in the dress and in the glass.
08Angelica
I layer more colors, and smooth out the dress.
09Angelica
As the dress transforms into wine, it becomes transparent, like liquid.  I erase the edges of the hemline, and the liquid that swirls in the glass.
10Angelica
I use the dark blush colors to shade in sections of the mint dress.  Using colors, as opposed to black and white tones, can bring more depth and life to a painting.  I also lay down the first layer for her skin to see the balance of color between the background and the dress.  The outline of the wine glass is created so that I know exactly where the edges of the dress need to hit and spill over.
11Angelica
I warm up the mint and blush wine up a little more with a yellow and peach shade, so that it is a little more balanced with the tone of the skin.  The wine in the glass is filled in.
12Angelica
The edges of the dress are finished with the beginnings of the splashes.
13Angelica
The edges of the dress and wine are layered.  Folds in the fabric and wine are given solid definition.
14Angelica
Because of the painting and layering from the last few steps, the see-through effect was lost a little bit, so I go over the whole dress and smooth out and inconsistencies and add the clear liquid effect throughout.
15Angelica
An explosion of droplets is scattered around the dress.  It’s here that I really start to feel the magic of the painting appear with all of the sparkles and glitter.  There is a lot going on in this painting but I have always been a “more is more” type of artist.
16Angelica
I start to work on her face and add the most difficult features: the lips and eyes.  I lay down a temporary “hair piece” for her, too, so that I can get a rough idea for her hairline against her features and skin tone.
17Angelica
There was a specific skin shade that was given to me to work with, so I color corrected the tone.  I also started layering and hammering out the details of her arms, neck and head.
18Angelica
Hands are one of the most time-consuming elements, for me.  After they were done, I went around the whole figure and highlighted her skin with a tough of “light”.  Her fingernails are painted pink.  (I love little details like this!)
19Angelica
A rose pattern starts out bunched closely at the top of the dress and cascades out into the pink wine.  There are a few bunches of roses that are barely visible in the pink liquid.  It is the little things that you don’t really see at first glance that bring a picture to life.
20Angelica
The hair is painted in, using many many layers and hundreds of pen strokes in various shades of brown, red, and almost black  (I think the only thing that is truly 100% black in this painting are her pupils).  At the end of it all the hair takes shape and looks like loose waves that spiral into ringlets.  Small strands wisp around her face, neck, and arms.
21Angelica
A crown of roses and lavender circle her head….but they are a little bit too large….
23Angelica
…so I shrink down the size of the wreath.  Her head is also a little too large and not proportionate, so I adjust the size ever so slightly.
24Angelica
“Angelica” – By Erika Robertson – Digital Painting – 2017 – Photoshop   –   My favorite part of painting is adding the finishing sparkles.  (Maybe because I know I am almost done, or maybe because everything starts to explode off of the page, little by little.)  It takes a long time, but the extra bump of life that the shimmer and glitter gives is extra special and adds so much magic.
25Angelica
Detail
26Angelica
Detail
27Angelica
Detail
28Angelica
Detail
29Angelica
Detail
30Angelica
Detail
24Angelica
“Angelica” – By Erika Robertson – Digital Painting – 2017 – Photoshop

Tie-Dye with Mia & Karlie – June 22, 2016

The day before yesterday I woke up and drove across town to my sister-in-law’s mom’s house.  Karlie and Mia were preparing the materials that we needed to use for our tie-dye hippie adventure.

2

I walked into the backyard and said ‘hi’ to a barefoot Karlie as she filled a miniature army of bottles with hot water and dye.

1
Soakin’ it up in the California Sun

Recycled and unloved pieces of clothing were floating around a few bins full of murky soda ash water, awaiting their second calling.  We were joined by their friend, Elizabeth, who, like me, was a tie-dye virgin.

9

At nine in the morning the sun was already sending us her rich warmth that would later decorate our necks with glistening sweaty diamonds.  Sunscreen and umbrellas tried to hide us from her overbearing infatuation.  Bottles of dye were shaken and set on our wobbling work table, while Elizabeth and I watched Mia as she swirled up one of the soaking shirts.

swirl process
Rollin, Rollin, Rollin – All the rubber bands!  ALL OF THEM!!!

She fastened the medallion with rubber bands and set it aside.  Elizabeth and I put on some gloves and joined Mia, who taught us variations for tie-dye designs.

Creating tie-dye for the first time was nothing less than mysterious and adventurous.  It was a great way for me to start to break out of my perfectionist shell;  I couldn’t plan anything that was absolute and I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be.

dyeing process

I was so excited when Mia and Karlie invited me over to their house for a lesson.  I had waited for this moment since they first showed me their tie-dye collection a year ago!

12

There was no solid rhyme or reason for placing the dye on the twisted pieces, except that the colors needed to soak through all of the layers on all sides.

20

13
Sweeney Todd was here

14

The table was drenched with a pool of rainbow dye, our feet turned into an effortless canvas of abstract art, and our carefree laughter carried us through the beginning of the blinding afternoon.

16

10

18
rubber bands = shooting practice

Our dye-soaked pieces basked out in the sunshine, on plastic mats and in plastic bags, so that they could meditate and prepare themselves for their new lives.

21

layed out pieces
Now, we wait…24-48 hours…     …But we are NOT patient, soooooo, 24 hours later…

The next day I went back to help unwrap the blobs of fabric; we were as impatient as small children on Christmas morning.  Each piece of cloth, that was released from the grips of the rubber bands, was greeted into their new world with ‘oooooo’s and ‘aaaaahhhh’s, and the occasional sound of overwhelming excitement.

23
YAAASSS!!!  ALL THE COLORS!!!

They were rinsed off, rung out, tossed in the washer and dryer, and our mini tie-dye hippie adventure was over.

26

Peace, love, tie-dye, and hugs!  Until next time!

You can purchase tie-dye items or request orders from Karlie and Mia, HERE!  I can’t wait to tie-dye with them, again!

27
Karlie and the ghost sheet

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: