Teddybear Extravaganza Online Show - Preview Today 4:00P.M.

 
Remy
Remy

I am excited to be participating in the Teddybear Extravaganza Online Show, which will run March 21 - 23.  There will be 75 international bear artists participating.

Here is Remy, my preview bear.  He is a OOAK (one of a kind) 6 1/4" tall jointed bear and is made of   Schulte mohair that I hand dyed.  You can vote for him or any of the other preview bears as your favorite here.

New Digital Paintings in Ellifolks Etsy Shop

 
Shopping
Shopping

 

I have added two digital paintings to my Etsy shop.   This painting is titled "Shopping". It was painted on my ipad using the Procreate painting app. You can visit its Etsy page here.

Susie's Midday Dreaming
Susie's Midday Dreaming

This painting is "Susie's Daytime Dreaming". It was also painted on my ipad using Art Rage and Procreate apps. You can visit its Etsy page here.

I was Published in Somerset Digital Studio

 
Somerset Digital Studio Spring 2014 issue
Somerset Digital Studio Spring 2014 issue

I was very excited and honored to see my tutorial, "Using an IPad for Help with Painting Design Decisions", published in the Spring 2014 issue of Somerset Digital Studio.   In the article I talk about how I use the iPad for help with deciding the direction to take with paintings when I am feeling unsure about adding, changing, or deleting something.

Somerset Digital Studio article
Somerset Digital Studio article

The article is based on my blog post, "Tutorial - IPad And ArtRage for Help with Painting Design Decisions" which expands on the article.

Thank you Jana Holstein for publishing my tutorial in this beautiful issue.

Emaline - New Miniature Mohair Artist Bear in Etsy Shop

emaline-sidefrontarm-blog Emaline, a new Ellifolks miniature mohair teddy bear is now in my Etsy shop.  Emaline is 2 1/2" tall.  She is wearing a handmade skirt of lace trim and a bead necklace of vintage glass beads.  She has a peach-colored vintage millinery flower by her ear.

Emaline

She is all hand stitched, and I dyed and shaded her red mohair.  You can see her here.

Emaline

 

Recording Video of Your IPad Paintings - Procreate

Procreate - iPad painting in progress

There are a few iPad painting programs that either automatically record your paintings as they are created or that you can set beforehand to record as you paint. Procreate, SketchClub, Sketchbook Pro, are some current paint programs that allow you to create videos of your paintings in process.

In this post I'll talk a little about recording video in the Procreate app. While you are working on any painting in Procreate, Procreate is automatically making a video of your work in progress behind the scene. At any point, you can click on the little wrench (Actions) icon at the top left of the screen, then click on share and then send your video to email, Dropbox, ITunes, or even save it to your iPad Photos.

The video above shows an unfinished Procreate painting in progress. Watching the video, it is interesting and helpful for me to see my process. Sometimes I find a place where there was something I liked but got changed. sometimes I can go back and recreate it.

This painting started out in ArtRage, as do many of my iPad paintings, because I love to capture the oil brush and watercolor brush textures. Then I usually save the image and open it up in Procreate. Most of the ArtRage painting gets covered up, but I like to leave some of the texture.

The progress video shows me adding a second image on top of the first image and then keeping only parts of it. I used some copy and paste and transform in the painting. Near the end of the painting, I accidentally added a big green line across the girl's face when I was pinching out the screen to magnify the area I was working on. You can see me deleting it in the video.

I love using the videos as tools to help me remember my process and to help me remember how I got certain effects.

Tutorial - Getting Started with Procreate iPad Painting App

 

Procreate is my favorite digital painting app. The basic tools are easy to use, but if you want to delve into sophisticated, complex digital work, you can with Procreate. A 189 page handbook comes with the app and goes step by step through Procreate's various tools and techniques, including brushes, layers, iPad gestures for Procreate, transform (enlarge, reduce, or distort a layer), and selections (select area, then copy and paste).

When you open the Procreate app it brings you to the Gallery. Click on the plus on the top right corner. Pick the size canvas you want and the canvas view will open.

Gallery view
Gallery view

Below is the Procreate canvas with icons around the top and right sides. Clicking on Gallery takes you and your current painting to the gallery. Paintings are saved there with their layers intact. The second icon from the left, the little wrench is the Actions menu. Here you can import photos, export the painting, flip or copy the canvas, and get help with the app. You can also save directly to the photos app, upload to Facebook or Twitter, or even email a painting.

The next two icons, Select (lightning icon)and Transform (up angled arrow) are not needed for basic work, but are covered in the handbook if you want to explore using them.

Procreate canvas
Procreate canvas

Moving along the top of the canvas to the right, the next icon is Brushes. Clicking on it brings up a drop-down menu from which you can select the brush you wish to use. There is a large selection of brushes. Clicking on one selects it and a double click on a brush turns the menu over to an options menu for that specific brush. This gives you a lot of variety for each brush.

brushes menu
brushes menu

Next to the Brushes icon is the Smudge icon.  Clicking on Smudge, then rubbing on a painted part of the screen will smudge the colors.  The icon to its right is the Eraser icon.  It uses the same  brushes as the Brush icon and can vary size and opacity using the sliders on the side of the canvas.

Eraser icon drop down menu
Eraser icon drop down menu

After you select a brush, you can vary its size and opacity using the two sliders on the right of the canvas. The top one changes the size, increasing it as you slide up. The bottom one changes the opacity, increasing it as you slide up. Below the Opacity Slider is the undo arrow with 250 undos.

Size and Opacity Sliders
Size and Opacity Sliders

Clicking the colored square icon in the top right corner of the screen opens up the Color popover. There are hue, saturation and brightness sliders that can be adjusted to pick precise colors.

Color Palette
Color Palette

Now you have picked your brush type, size, and opacity and your color. You are ready to start painting. You can use your finger to paint with, or a stylus like the Wacom Bamboo stylus shown below. I like using a stylus, as it feels more precise than my finger and also lifts my hand up off the screen some so I can see the area I'm working on better.

Wacom Bamboo stylus
Wacom Bamboo stylus

The icon to the left of the color swatch is the Layers icon. Clicking on it brings up a drop-down menu showing all the layers. Your first strokes will automatically go on the first layer.

Layers drop`down menuResize by dragging with the right mouse button.
Layers drop`down menuResize by dragging with the right mouse button.

First strokes appear on Layer 1.

first stroke on Layer 1
first stroke on Layer 1

Here you can see the different effects you can get from using various brushes.

To add a new layer, click on the + icon in the Layers drop-down menu. The added layer has a black background meaning it is the active layer. Paint strokes will appear on the active layer. You can change the active layer by clicking on the layer you wish to be active.

Adding Layer 2
Adding Layer 2

Here I painted with different brushes on the second layer.  They appear above Layer 1 both in the Layers drop-down menu and on the canvas.

Layer two is on top.
Layer two is on top.

Here layer two has been moved down below layer one. It shows as under everything on layer one and now becomes the background. You can move layers by holding on the layer you want to move until it appears to lift up. Then drag it to the layer position you want.

Layer 2 moved to bottom
Layer 2 moved to bottom

Now strokes on Layer 2 are below layer 1 strokes.

Layer 2 on bottom
Layer 2 on bottom

Layers are very helpful in working in Procreate. I tend to use a lot of layers and like to keep backgrounds on separate layers and objects that are touching or on top of one another on separate layers.

If I am doing a face, I would keep the outline, the fill color, the face details - eyes, nose, mouth, and hair all on separate layers for working. Then if I want to change the hair, for instance, it is easy to do without messing up the face outline or fill.

When the layers are at a point where you are satisfied with them, then you can merge layers by pinching the layers together in the Layers drop-down menu or by clicking on the layer you wish to merge and click merge up or merge down on the Layers Options pop-up menu that appears. (Sometimes you have to click more than once for the pop-up menu to appear.)

wpid-Photo-Nov-16-2013-926-AM.jpg

A Few Tips for Working: Painting on such a small surface as an iPad makes painting details hard to do precisely. To magnify and get a close-up view, pinching out with two fingers works in the app as it does in Safari and many other iPad apps. I use this option for anything that needs precision.

wpid-Photo-Nov-16-2013-957-AM1.jpg

Also a quick pinch together and then lift of two fingers sizes the painting to fit the shown canvas.

Have fun trying out Procreate. If you would like to show what you have created with it, you can leave a comment with a link to your painting.

New Prints in Ellifolks Etsy Shop

I have added three new prints to my Etsy Shop. In the Afternoon print

"In the Afternoon" is a digital painting made on the iPad.  It includes some of my favorite subject matter - a chair and flowers, and has a feeling of calm relaxing in the midst of some chaos.  Here is it's Etsy page.

Get Down Cat print

"Get Down Cat!" is a digital painting also made on the iPad.  Again there is a chair and flowers.  A mischievous cat is not about to give up her comfy spot on the back of the chair. Here is it's Etsy page.

6 Doll Heads - photo collage print

"6 Doll Heads" started out as a photo of one of my original dolls taken with my iPhone.  I manipulated the photo in several photo editing apps and combined six images into one iphoneography photo collage.  Here is its Etsy page.

 

Illustration Friday - Glow

Illustration Friday - Glow This week's Illustration Friday topic is "Glow". This was created using the SketchClub app on the iPad. I saw Unihorse's wonderful Sketch Club app vector tool tutorial and have been experimenting with it.  It's a lot of fun, but takes a little getting used to.

SketchClub has a recording feature that can record your painting as you create it.  you can see a video recording of some of the work with the vector tool I did for on the "glow" painting on YouTube here.

 

Tutorial - IPad And ArtRage for Help with Painting Design Decisions

painting in progress before putting into ArtRage app I like using the iPad for decision making when I get stuck on where to go next in the painting process in acrylic painting.  This technique can be used for any art medium. I  I use either the ArtRage or Procreate apps.   In this tutorial, I am using ArtRage.

To get the painting into the iPad, I take a photo with my iPhone or iPad of the painting trying to get close enough so the painting covers as much of the painting as possible.

I open a new painting in the ArtRage iPad  app.  Below is a screenshot of the ArtRage interface with a new blank painting.  As you are working, the row of tools and the color picker will disappear when you click on the active tool and color giving you more canvas to view and work with.

ArtRage canvas with blank document

Then I import the photo of the painting into ArtRage.  Click on the second to right bottom icon to import the photo.  It comes into the program as a tracing image at 40% opacity.   To see the painting at full opacity, click on "Convert to Paint" under tracing options.  Tracing options is the third icon from top in the same bottom icon.  It looks like three horizontal lines one below the other.

painting brought into ArtRage -click on "Convert to Paint"

Then click on the eye icon , and the painting will show at full opacity.

click on eye icon

I add a new layer above the painting so I am not working directly on the painting. The fourth icon fron the right on the bottom of the ArtRage interface is the layers icon.  I paint on new layers, keeping objects and new painted effects on separate layers.  This way I can turn on or off the visibility for each layer to see what I like or don't like.

Adding new layer to paint on

I generally use the watercolor or oil brushes, but may also use crayons and color pencils.  Each brush has several settings for different paint looks.  You can change size and properties of each brush by clicking the two left bottom icons.  Both control different brush properties.

For this painting, I was unsure if I wanted to add a planter and flowers.  I added a planter on the floor.  Then I added flowers and a plant -- all on separate layers.  I turned on and off the visibility on the various layers and saved versions or took screen shots of the various versions.  Although the added objects will not look the same when added to the painting, they are similar enough to help me decide if I think they will be good additions.

trying out pot and flowers - each object is on separate layer

Here is the finished painting.  You can see that I did add the planter, but not the flowers and plant.  I also experimented with adding layers of color to certain areas and did so on the painting itself.

finished painting

 

Oona Ellibeans in Ellifolks Etsy Shop

Oona Ellibeans, a little whimsical mohair doll is now available in my Etsy Shop.  You can see her here.

Oona is hand dyed and shaded.  She has a super big mohair head, a crooked smile, and a ffluffy mohair skirt.  Oona sports cotton floss pigtails.  her eyes are vintage mother of pearl buttons.  Oona has hand dyed wool felt arms that are thread jointed.  Her legs are purple hand dyed wool felt.  Please come visit her!

New Acrylic and Digital Painting Prints in Etsy Shop

Circus Dreams

Circus Dreams

I have added two prints to my Etsy shop"Circus Dreams"started with an acrylic painting for the background.  It was scanned into my computer and transferred to my iPad.  I used the paint app, Procreate to create the rest of the imagery.  Then I used two photography apps, Halftone and Blender to get the final image.

The second print, "Girl with Saucer Flowers", is a digital print made on the iPad using the paint app, Procreate.

I like to use many layers and a variety of brushes to get depth and complexity in my digital paintings.  I'd love to have you come take a look.

Girl with Saucer Flowers

 

 

Still Blooming!

hydrangea tree  

We finally had our hydrangea tree (paniculata hydrangea) pruned this summer, and it went from a drooping on the ground messy-looking thing to a lovely little tree that reminds me of something from a fairy tale. Out in the garden, I was delighted to see several other blooming plants. We bought some small, low-growing roses that have been blooming all summer. The white astrantia is still blooming a little. Our torch lilies (kniphofia) bloomed twice this summer. And the sedum Spectabiles are blooming now - their regular time to bloom.

So nice having color in the yard this time of year!

 

rose
rose
astrantia
sedum spectabile
sedum spectabile

 

 

 

Wookie, Whimsical Mohair Panda in Etsy Shop

Wookie

Wookie, a whimsical mohair panda in now in my Etsy shop. Wookie is made of sparse hand-dyed mohairs. He has one glass eye bordered with a wool felt flower and one orange vintage button eye ringed with a red embroidered circle. He is about 4 3/4" tall and is wearing a linen cord collar with a rusty jingle bell.

You can see Wookie here. Please come visit if you get a chance.  Wookie has been adopted.

Wookie

 

Wookie

New Print, Meadowland, in Etsy Shop

I just added my first print of one of my paintings to my Etsy shop.  The original is an acrylic/mixed media painting on hot press watercolor paper, done in many layers and incorporating pencil and water-soluble oil pastels, too.  I will be adding more prints shortly.

I have to thank Mindy Murphy Lacefield for her wonderful online class, "Paint Your Story".  If you get a chance to take it, I highly recommend it.  She really gives you the tools and encouragement to find freedom in your art.

 

Trip to SOWA Open Market - Indie Craft Fair and Artisan Foods


We spent a fun Sunday afternoon at Boston's SOWA Open Market. SOWA -- "south of Washington Avenue" -- is a trendy,rejuvenated Boston neighborhood that is home to lofts, galleries, and boutiques. (Note: the square photos in this post were shot with iPhone's Hipstamatic app which can make atypical, but fun shots.)

 

The SOWA Open Market is open on Sundays from May to November. There two parking lots full of vendors. One has artisan foods such as Grillo's, a local company that makes delicious hot or regular Italian-style pickles among other marinated items. There is a vendor With homemade French style macaron cookies in several yummy sounding flavors. There are cheese artisans, a bread company, and fresh herbs and produce.

Walking through an archway and down a walkway lined with shops takes you to another parking lot with craft artists' booths and food trucks. Here we found a vintage map dealer with large local maps that look wonderful framed. There was a craftsman who made cool, funky vases and glass from vintage soda and beer bottles. There were booths with clothing remade from vintage items and several jewelers. We bought a pair of bird print earrings for our daughter.

The food trucks looked interesting and ranged from barbecue to Thai food. The food truck lines were long, so we decided to skip them that day.

The walkway between the two parking lots is dotted with shops. You will find people shopping, walking, eating lunch, and just relaxing.


A bonus Is the indoor flea market with vintage furniture, accessories, and clothing. It is on the block between the two parking lots. I found a sterling mechanical cat charm to take home with me.


Next time time you're spending a summer weekend in Boston, I recommend you check out SOWA Open Market.