Not long after I moved down to Los Angeles, four years ago, I broke out my sketchbook and walked through some evolving ideas that turned into the “Women and Wine” collection. As I was doodling page after page of crappy thumbnails, my brain stumbled upon the idea of collaborating women, fashion, and cocktails. My first scribbles were of women standing next to over-sized glasses of alcohol wearing beautiful dresses. The thumbnail sketch for “Champagne” featured a woman whose dress turned into bubbling liquid in a shimmering flute. From there, the collection of three women named for white, red, and rosé wines took shape and was finished in the fall of 2016. I decided to revisit my original inspired sketch so that I could bring “Champagne” to life.
I enjoy the idea of collaborating my old profession, costume design and fashion, into my artwork. Over-exaggeration, extravagant elements, and lots of little details thrill me to no end. It’s an unfortunate thing that I don’t have the finances or the time to create costumes, as many of them cost well over $1000 in materials to create – and I am an all or nothing kind of person with those projects. But, my newfound love of painting in Photoshop has proven to be more than satisfactory.
I enjoy painting and drawing in raw media but more often than not, a lot of very tiny detail is lost within pen scribbles and paint blotches, unless the canvas is over-sized. (And I don’t have room for that in my 200 square foot tiny space.) What I love most about Photoshop is that I can achieve an incredible amount of fine detail that would have been impossible to achieve if I had tried to paint the same thing on the canvas. A lot of my costuming in the past was consumed by rhinestones, bead work, and the tiniest of details. In person, you could see the fine elements on the costumes themselves, but the artwork that went along with them (the concept sketches) were not as exciting. (At least, not to me).
“Champagne” features an abundance of small detail. From her strands of hair, to her delicate jewelry, and the shimmer and glimmer of champagne and chiffon, this painting embodies a subtle strength and definitive elegance.
It is a wonderful feeling to be able to see the improvement in my artwork as I complete each piece. The digital learning curve is starting to straighten out, and I feel that each project that I take into my hands becomes a new favorite of mine.
Above is a video featuring a slideshow of stills from start to finish for “Champagne”. Below are select step-by-step stills and close-ups along with walk-through descriptions and notes. (You will be able to see the detail better on this blog post, as opposed to the video, but the video is fun, too!)
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog! I hope you enjoy reading about and watching “Champagne” as much as I have enjoyed creating her.
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
Medium length flowing curly hair (black with brown/red highlights)
Maxi dress with loose floral pattern and halter top neckline
Lavender and roses
A headband to represent an element of peace
Background maroon, burgundy, or berry red
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”.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
It’s been a while since I have finished something a little more complicated, but I’m so happy with this piece. I’m still trying to find my style, which is a frustrating evolution, but I know that over time something will solidify. I love drawing realistic people, but I am working on simplifying my fashion ladies and experimenting with “flat” brushes. I had to re-draw this one, because the first time around the skin was so detailed with highlights and shadows that it overwhelmed the piece. The flat minimally shaded women stand out a lot more and blend in so well with the rest of the piece. It’s just so colorful and sparkly!
Faith is blue. Hope is green. Love is pink. Each lady holds two jeweled strands that belong to her, highlighted by either pink, green, or blue jewels. If you look carefully you can see colored stones throughout each strand that are shared with the woman beside her. For example, Love (pink) and Hope (green) are sharing two green and two pink jeweled strands; in this way all of them are connected to each other. The height of each lady is representative of her hierarchy; Love is the greatest of the three. Wisteria represents eternity and drapes itself around stone pillars. The purple of the wisteria matches the amethyst stones that hang at the end of each jeweled strand which promote peace and balance.
Here’s a little taste of my current project. Since this collection is going to be 12 pieces it is going to take a little longer, so I’ll entertain you with little snippets here and there in the meantime. 🙂