Every year at this time, I like to design a new calendar tea towel as Christmas gifts for family and friends. Out comes the Spoonflower color map, with its bazillion and one 1/2" squares of color, along with a jar of safety pins to mark likely swatches. The printer gets a good workout as I fiddle the colors. The pink must contrast just enough with the red to give that flower a sense of depth, yet be subtle enough to just blush the yellow pears. For a painterly background, the blues, green and aubergine must snuggle up comfortably with one another. I'm pretty pleased with how I got 10 colors to dance together, and look reasonably like the hand painting I did earlier this year. Next up, hemming!
I'm once again choosing a new palette with which to go forward, and have turned to one of my favorite color resources. An Eye For Color by Olga Gutiérrez De La Roza is a very appealing little book for designers of all sorts. Well, I suppose it ought to be as Ms. Gutiérrez De La Roza was formerly the Design Director of Promotions for Glamour magazine and taught Masters-level courses in design at Pratt Institute. There's probably some magical formula in her head that explains the particular appeal of the book's shape and size; when I first saw it, I just had to pick it up. And then open it. And then of course, buy it.
The whole idea of the book is to teach you to see color, and to create your own color palettes. But meanwhile it's chock full of delectable color schemes, as summoned forth by Ms. Gutiérrez De La Roza. She culls her palettes from every corner of the art and design world, including ninth century religious illuminations, interiors photos, illustrations from the heyday of print advertising, and even Milton Glaser's iconic Bob Dylan portrait. Each palette is accompanied by both CMYK and RGB codes. The book is organized by color, and it's only my bias that has orange and pink heavily represented here! Punch-out rolodex cards are included in the back, encouraging you to begin your own personal collection of palettes. Below are a few intriguing images from the book.
Note: As you can see, I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you wish to purchase the book, just click on the image above and I'll get a few cents off the sale. I'll be reviewing more books here on my blog, hopefully one a month. There a lots of favorites on my shelves!
Thanks so much!
Recently Anne of mygiantstrawberry.com invited me to participate in her series "A Sketchbook Conversation". I really enjoyed writing the post, and choosing which images to share. Thanks so much, Anne!
Thought I'd share my first .gif. I took Zara Martina's Skillshare class, Create GIFs From Illustration in Photoshop. The class was great; easy to understand, with all steps clear and well explained. And, as with many things, once you know the trick, creating GIFs is surprisingly simple!
I had some specific goals in mind while creating this image. I usually work in full color, so I wanted to try monotone instead. Then I wanted to add depth with a .tiff textures in Illustrator. I used only one texture, scaling it down as needed. Some of the petals have a lot of texture layers in them. And while I was experimenting, why not animate my bird too? He reminds me of old-fashioned clockwork toys. (To see more of my #100daysof_approx_millefleur project, take a look at my Instagram.)
Lately I've been working with a gouache palette I made up last fall, which was inspired by the cover on one of my husband's tech books. (Inspiration is where you find it!)
With nine colors, I had lot of room to play. I really had fun using other media with my palette too. Copic markers in colors that toned well created layers and visual interest.
I love palettes with close tones, but this presented a challenge when cleaning up my scanned images in Photoshop. When choosing my next palette to work with, I'll keep that in mind.
ABSTRACT: THE ART OF DESIGN
Netflix has a new documentary series about design and it's terrific. Season one of Abstract: The Art of Design has eight episodes. I blush to admit it, but the only designer whose name I recognized is featured in the first episode. Christoph Niemann's New Yorker covers may be familiar to you, or you may have encountered his humorous Instagram. This first episode of Abstract manages to convey the smart, jack rabbit quick u-turns of thought that make up a Niemann illustration. Mr. Niemann speaks throughout the episode about creative anxiety in a way I recognized and related to entirely. I can't wait to "meet" the rest of Abstract's designers, through the series; I somehow feel I'll have visited the inside of their heads through this very clever and delightful show.
I saw one article that pedantically objected to the name of the series, insisting designers don't abstract; the writer claimed that only artists like Jackson Pollack abstract. I object; of course designers abstract too. Ask Nike head designer Tinker Hatfield (episode 2 of Abstract) about those backward "flames" he added to the Air Jordan 5.