Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Did you guys know I started a clothing line? American Duchess Apparel creates graphic tees that interpret the whimsical, natural, and feminine ideals of the past, with a particular focus on the 18th and 19th centuries.
It's getting towards holiday gift-giving time, so here's the flier to let you all know that the online ADA shop is up, running, ready to receive orders:
It's a pretty cool experience as an artist, working up a brand from nothing. I've done all the t-shirt illustration, of course, but also the graphic design on the fliers, labels and tags, and website (and coding too!). The business side - the world of wholesale and garment manufacture - is fascinating as well. I'm hoping to do well enough with graphic tees to release three new designs each season (once I get rolling), and to expand into other kinds of apparel, like jackets and hoodies.
Monday, October 12, 2009
I worked with what I did know - composition and basic lighting knowledge - to snap this picture with my Not-a-DSLR Kodak camera. Popping it into Photoshop, I cropped it to create a more interesting composition, then lightened the bright side of her face, and darkened the other, using the dodge/burn tools. I made sure to keep the eye on the darker side a little lighter. I sharpened some areas, where I wanted the focus to be, and blurred other areas, such as her feet and the background (more). To punch up the color, I upped the contrast and saturation slightly. The last bit was to create the faux "lomo" effect around the edge, using the burn tool.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
AHAN.org has posted two dogs for adoptions recently. They both look like black versions of Avi! It pains me that I cannot adopt another dog from Taiwan, especially one that is similar in beauty to The Best Dog In The World. So I'm passing the info on to you.
Taiwan dogs like Avi are quite remarkable - they are medium-sized (about 30 lbs) with long, willowy figures, and beautiful faces. They are extremely intelligent, loyal, and loving. Avi has a very soft coat, which somehow has the ability to stay clean. She does not smell at all, not even her breath, and she is not destructive to the house, just her toys.
Of course, I can't guarantee that all Taiwan dogs are like this, but I can guarantee that all of these dogs are loving and loyal and looking for a better life. If you are thinking about adopting a dog, please consider these two, "Inky" and "Nana."
Click Here for INKY
Click Here for NANA.
Monday, September 14, 2009
She needs your votes!!! Go take a jaunt over to The Dreamstress and leave your vote in the comments section!
Friday, September 11, 2009
What should Avi be for Halloween!?
Create an image (draw it, color it, compile it in some way) of a costume for Avi. Keep in mind her size and body type, and that she is a very active pup. For pictures of Avi, join the Avi Fan Club on Facebook.
Upload your costume idea to an image host like Photobucket, Flickr, or even your own blog, and then leave a link to your image in the comments section of this post.
There will only be one winner, and the winner will receive an Avi t-shirt or product of their choice from Avi's shop, and will see his or her costume concept created and modelled by the famous "blog dog" herself!
Contest END OCTOBER 1st, 2009: HURRY!!
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
I just returned from a week-long trade show at which I saw myriad showrooms choc full o' fabulous home decor, furniture, giftware, and art. I came back with my sense of style re-fueled, and a curious desire to redecorate my pint-sized one bedroom. Luckily for me, the bedroom part of that one bedroom is actually quite nice, with all the complimenting furniture, the pleasingly bold color palette, and the masculine lines with the girly tidbits.
Back in October of 2008, when we were picking out a puppy to add to our lives, color was a factor. In fact, all things were factors, everything from the expected size and body type, to the flop of ears, length of nose, undeniable cuteness factor, snuggle potential, eye and coat color (J doesn't like two-tone eyes, nor two-tone dogs in general!). It's surprising that the perfect puppy came from Taiwan, and is so much a mutt, with such a long mutt lineage, that she and her exotic pack of feral dogs has become homogenized into something called a "Taiwan Dog." How convenient that they are most common in colors black and white.
All that being said, Avi seems to fit perfectly into the color scheme I've somehow compiled for my home decor. These shots of her bored stiff, stretched out in the middle of the bed (sans bedcovers - in the wash), seemed more like art than dog, especially with the hall light casting just enough warmth into the scene. It's like...puppy glam photography of the 60s with sultry, Mondrianesque overtones....
...or just a couple snapshots with one bored dog.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Color guide for the embroidery, with the stems of the flowers worked in metallic silver
The linework finished in Adobe Illustrator
The roughly traced and altered sketch
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
This last one is from Fuschia's 18th Century Dress Project (blog), comparing Miss Jay Alexander (from America's Next Top Model) to Adolf Ludvig Badin, a servant of the Swedish Queen Lovisa Ulrika, from the 18th c.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Next, continue with the warm color, using the golden brown, and blocking in basic "darks" according to your picture. Don't worry about getting these areas to their full darkness yet. You're just establishing basic lighting and placement of shadow and form.
Now it's time to start working with your blues. Using blues, instead of black, for your darker shadowed areas lends your subject a life and interest. Blue and orange are compliments, and form a lovely balance and richness for the eye when paired, even in their subtlest forms. Start blending the darkest grey-blue into the shadowed areas.
You may need to adjust the overall color of the horse to match your reference coloration. Mine was not looking red enough, so I added in some richer red-browns, all the while keeping my light golden starting color showing through, and continuing to darken and blend the shadowed areas with blue-grey and darker greys.
With the lay-in of colors complete, begin rendering by smoothing and blending. Continue to build up colors, and don't worry about brushstrokes, sketch lines, and base colors coming through in some places. Keep the edges of the shadows and lights fuzzy - hard lines will make the horse look plastic or flayed.
Once I was happy with the painting on the body of the horse, I blocked in the mane, then switched brushes, to the middle-thickness oily-hair brush, and continued to work with the mane and tail.
Just like the body, I incorporated blues and warmer tones into the mane, and used some straight strokes and some slightly wavy, moving generally in the same direction, but not as one clump. For the finishing touches, I switched brushes again to the thinnest hair brush, with only a few hairs, and swept in some more strokes on the mane and tail, to make it look natural.
For finishing, I used a regular round brush, with opacity and flow on pressure-sensitive, and cleaned up the edges all around the horse, erasing some of the rough linework and stray paint. I liked the look of the sketch showing through the painting in some places, so I left a bit of it. I also rendered the hooves roughly, with clean edges, and painted in the eye.