Portraits with whimsy & magic

CorfeeWhimsicalPortraits-TallPinWatercolor, florals, doodles, drips and spatter. i’ve been combining all my favorite painting tidbits into these charming whimsical portraits recently. They make a gorgeous keepsake and look beautiful framed in a nursery or little girl’s room. i scan and keep high resolution digital files of the art, so customers can have the art printed on mugs or in photo books as well. This also allows me to offer additional prints at various sizes so that grandparents, family or friends can have a mini version of the art for their desk as well.

Visit my shop here to purchase one of these darling portraits, and take a look at my other prints and originals while you’re there, too! ; )

Painting Frida Kahlo

Hey everyone! i painted a portrait yesterday for the first time in a long time. It was a request. i don’t think i would have done it otherwise. But i ended up having the most lovely afternoon/evening working on it. It was so relaxing and fun. I instagrammed the progress and thought i’d recap here on the blog.

Step 1: printout some photos of the subject (Frida Kahlo) that i found online so i could make a pencil sketch right on the canvas. i always start by drawing the overall face shape, then mapping in a center line and eyeline. Scribbling in the decorative elements quickly is the best way i know how to come up with a balanced composition, even if i don’t follow them EXACTLY in the painting stage.

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Step 2: Begin painting in large solid areas. i start with the part of the painting that is most challenging. That way, if i stink it up, i haven’t wasted any time on easy parts i could do again without problem. In this case, i started in on the face and hair, then worked in some background.

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Step 3: Finish with the fun details. i saved the floral headpiece, jewelry, clothing and background doodles for last because to me, those are low-stress, easy fun. i’m not worried about symmetry and shading like with the face. i took the painting off the easel and laid it flat for the background swirls so i could turn the canvas as i worked. This part took a while, but was very relaxing. Near the end, my patience was wearing thin and i just wanted to see it complete!

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Step 4: Final Scanning and Digital Editing. When i started this, i had an image of lots of floral layers, very decorative. By the time i got as far as step 3, i was a bit tired and had that “temporary art blindness” we all get. i felt i couldn’t be objective about whether or not to add the flowers to the sides, all around, or what. SO!! i cheated. i scanned in what i had and messed with extra flower placement digitally. This way, i didn’t potentially ruin my hours of work, but could still play and work toward the vision in my head without fear.

Corfee-Frida-IG_smAfter some hours away from it to get “fresh eyes”, i reviewed and made a few tiny tweaks this morning, then sent it off for a client to review.

Standard, classic, oil portraits may not be my “thing”, but i sure did love doing this highly stylized portrait with all the fun decoration. Hope you all enjoy! xo, s

Painted Words + Flowers

Kids’ nicknames are such sweet and personal kinds of things. i got it in me to start painting some nicknames in my watercolor sketchbook. Here are 2. You can grab a custom one featuring your own cutie’s nickname in my etsy shop.

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i’ve also got a nice, loose and scribbly floral for ya’ll today called Blue Ink + Blooms. Find this one on etsy also…. 

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lost in the sauce – painting something different

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Sometimes being an artist is deadlines and measurements, and technical files and clerical work. Sometimes it is execution of orders and commissioned paintings with specific parameters and color schemes. It’s ok. Every job has boring-but-necessary parts, enjoyable parts…and then stinkin AWESOME parts. i got to make a painting (above- Sparkling Water) purely for my own self expression recently and it was pretty stinkin awesome.

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i let myself evolve a little, without being afraid that i’d lose my audience. Because we all evolve. It’s fun. i love change. But when you build your brand on a certain look, a bit of fear creeps in that you need to stay the course and give the people what they want. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for evolution.

But i posted the new art on facebook, as i am apt to do….and people didn’t UNLIKE me. Whaddya know? Lots of folks really liked this it even though it is something new and different. Phew.

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i’ve been feeling a real bug to explore muted color and transparent color and mixing of watercolors and acrylics a lot lately. i’ve also been messing with portraits like you wouldn’t believe. (i will share soon!)

It’s wonderful to be able to trust yourself enough to change and experiment. i am going for it full-tilt now that the band-aid has been ripped off.

 

Completed Works – Flower Stalker

Flower StalkerAs i explore using some more muted colors in tandem with the brights, i find myself creating lots of light-as-a-feather line sketches which i’m having fun overlapping on textured backgrounds. My muse is a baby girl’s nursery.

What would i want to hang on the wall in such a place? What kind of mood would i want to set?

It’s proving to be a fun challenge as i force myself to look at less saturated colors and interesting combinations of light and dark, subtlety and contrast. The exercise is also helping me to get a fresh perspective. Sometimes i find myself so bogged down in packing and shipping and emailing and tweeting, i forget that the art needs to come first and that i want to evolve and change. i will have to force myself out of my own box much more often in the future, because i like surprising myself. It’s fun! How would i ever have known i had this little ditty inside me if i hadn’t tried?

This print, titled “Flower Stalker”, is available in my etsy shop.

completed works – hanging by a thread

HangingByAThreadhey everybody! after a hiatus that seemed much longer than it actually was, i’m back. technical difficulties. i’ll just say that we were experiencing technical difficulties.

but here is my most recent completed work, “hanging by a thread.” it’s an ink drawing that i’ve scanned and colored digitally. i wanted a wispy, thin-lined work where the thread-like lines take center-stage. enjoy!

that’s so me – at home, of course!

Lounge SHort

If you know me, you know i don’t wear short-shorts, or medium-shorts.  Lord,  i only wear bermuda shorts if the temp is above ninety! But in summer, nothing beats a long day outside followed up by a cool shower, some nice smelling lotion, a tank top and comfy lounge shorts to jump into.  Add crisp, freshly laundered sheets, a good book and an open window welcoming the sound of crickets and i’m pretty much in heaven.

The “Beckoning Creatures” lounge shorts by PlumPrettySugar on etsy totally fit the bill and are so me! They make me wish summer would hurry up and get here already!