Archive for the ‘technique’ Category

A reminder about growth, learning and taking small steps by Sarah K. Benning

Amy Ng
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Amy Ng

Amy is a teacher, writer and a self-taught illustrator. Her blog Pikaland, is popular stop for illustration lovers, students and artists who are looking for answers on how to find a balance between art, creativity and commerce. Amy is also an adjunct lecturer at a local design college and has created online workshops for artists; teaching them how to use their unique strengths to create their very own opportunities. She believes that we each have a role to play and a story to tell –- and her personal mission is to help you discover what that is.
Amy Ng
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I was reacquainted with the work of Sarah K. Benning a while back through Instagram, and I was floored. And you can see why. The subject matter at hand combined my two interests – gardening and craft in the beautiful, intricate embroideries that remind me a little bit of 8-bit pixel art (also my favourite). All three of my favourite things all rolled into one? Yowza.

It’s easy to think (and I can almost hear gasps going) – wow – her work is amazing. Her skill is amazing. OMG plants. I have plants. Why didn’t I think of that before?! And yet, hers is a journey that is familiar to a lot of artists out there. She didn’t start out doing the kind of embroideries that you now recognise as her handiwork, plastered all over blogs and magazines. Like everyone else, she started out by experimenting and taking small steps.

I first knew about her work when she hand embroidered greeting cards and art cards and sold them on Etsy back in 2013:

Her work evolved to include embroideries in hoops in 2014, and as you can see from her pictures below, her embroideries also started to evolve in intricacy:

Towards the end of 2015, she started to experiment with more complex patterns in her embroidery, using her plants and cactuses as the main subject of her work:

While Sarah is trained in fine arts, she is self-taught in the art of embroidery.

From her About page:

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Originally from Baltimore, she attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received her BFA in Fiber and Material Studies.  Shortly after graduating in 2013, Sarah discovered her love for embroidery, a relaxing hobby she could enjoy while working as a full-time nanny. She approaches each piece as an illustration rather than a textile, often abandoning traditional stitches and techniques in favor of bold shapes, playful patterns, and contemporary subject matter.

Sarah’s embroideries often depict potted plants and her newest works position these potted gardens in interior spaces and pairs them with other textiles.  She approaches these pieces as illustrations, creating drawings in pencil directly onto the fabric before filling the image in with thread.  In this way, the thread becomes more like ink or paint than traditional embroidery, which accentuates the bold shapes, patterns, and color in the compositions.

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While her earlier works (2013-2014) already showed a love of plants, cacti, and landscapes, her continuous experimentation in embroidery has allowed her to be able to execute more intricate and detailed compositions, such as more recent ones below:

It was gradual, and organic – as laid out in her FAQ page:

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Where do you get your patterns and how do you transfer them to fabric?

I invent them! Drawing is a major part of my practice, so I keep sketchbooks of ideas, composition thumbnails, plant details, and textile diagrams to aid in the creating of my stitched works.  These sketches then come together as final designs by re-drawing them directly onto my fabric with pencil.  The underdrawing gets completely covered up with the stitching.  This process allows for a lot of revision and experimentation before I get down to sewing.

What stitches do you use and how can I learn how to do this?

I don’t always adhere traditional embroidery stitches and techniques, thinking of the thread more like ink or paint and inventing or adapting stitches as I go.  The one common embroidery stitch I do use is the satin stitch, which is how I achieve the fields of color that create the foundation of each element in my compositions.  The final and most fun stage to every piece is the surface pattern that creates all the detail in the plants, textiles, and pots.

My advice to anyone wanting to learn is to go get the basic materials (hoop, fabric, thread, needle, scissors) and just start experimenting!  My work has evolved over the past 3 years and is my full-time job.  Believe me, I didn’t start out sewing complicated things.  Be patient with yourself and have fun!

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It’s easy to look at an artist’s success and think that they knew what they were doing right from the start. Looking through Sarah’s work, I’m not sure if she had any inkling that her work would evolve to be where it is right now. But what I see is persistence, evolution and a constant challenging of her craft. Her love of subject is already apparent even in the beginning, and they run like threads interwoven in the fabric of her progression. They’ve always been there, and it’s exciting to see where her experimentation will take her.

You can purchase her work from website (they sell out fast!), and follow along her journey on Instagram.

[ALL IMAGES FROM SARAH’S ETSY, INSTAGRAM, AND WEBSITE]

Amy Ng blogs at Pikaland, a popular stop for illustration lovers, students, and artists who are looking for answers on how to find a balance between art, creativity, and commerce.

Posted by Amy Ng on 06/28/16 under artists,business,illustration,technique
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Jeremy Bastian

Andy Yates

Andy Yates

Andy is a freelance illustrator, and animator. He writes about comics at comicstavern.com. See his work at plumdill.tumblr.com.
Andy Yates

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Since this is Halloween Week, I thought how better to celebrate than exploring the intricately detailed work of Cursed Pirate Girl creator Jeremy Bastian! A graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Bastian spent his years studying the works of the great engraving art masters and old time book illustrators. One of the inspirations for Cursed Pirate Girl was a children’s book called The Ship’s Cat, featuring illustrations by Alan Aldridge. It takes about a week for Jeremy Bastian to draw one page of Cursed Pirate Girl. Each page is meticulously packed with the smallest details; it’s fun to just stare at a page and let your eyes wander. You can read about Jeremy’s art process on this blog post here.

Cursed Pirate Girl follows the title character’s search for her Pirate Captain father on the mythical Omerta Seas, encountering many strange and wondrous creatures along the way. The first 3 issues were published by Olympian Publishing and are now highly sought after collector’s items. Much bigger publisher Archaia/BOOM has taken over on Cursed Pirate Girl and if you’re quick enough, you might still be able to find a copy of Cursed Pirate Girl 2015 Annual(52 pages), which hit stands this month. The plan is to do 2 more yearly specials to complete the 6 part story, but there could be more material set in the Cursed Pirate Girl world after that.

If you want to get the latest news on Jeremy Bastian & Cursed Pirate Girl, fell free to follow him on Twitter here!

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 10/29/15 under artists,black and white,children's art,comic,design,illustration,Interviews,prints,technique,weekly topics
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VIDEO: My Process for Generating Ideas

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Illustration Friday Editor and Creative Director Thomas James shares his process for generating ideas for illustration projects. Send us your own process here.

Posted by Thomas James on 08/14/15 under business,community,freelance,idea generation,IF community,IF news update,illustration,resources,technique,tutorial / how-to
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Online Character Illustration Class with Matt Kaufenberg

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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In our continuing effort to keep you inspired we’d like to tell you about this really fun online course that will walk you through the steps necessary to take your character illustrations to the next level.

In this class Matt Kaufenberg will take you through his process of illustrating a character, starting with the concept, then moving into Illustrator to create the shapes, and finally, rendering it in Photoshop.

What You’ll Learn

  • Finding Inspiration
  • Character Concepts
  • Building the Foundation in Illustrator
  • Rendering in Photoshop
  • Color Adjustment and Texture

Click here to learn more about this class >>

Find even more online classes for illustrators here >>

Posted by Thomas James on 08/11/15 under children's art,classes,Events,illustration,resources,technique,Tools,tutorial / how-to,workshops / conferences
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Idea Generation Image Search for POINTY

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Hello fellow illustrators!

 

As promised last Friday, we are now in full effect taking Illustration Friday to the next level. The natural evolution of a fun weekly illustration challenge based on ideas is a deeper focus on the art of idea generation itself.

Yesterday we shared a stream of conciousness word list for this week’s topic of POINTY, and today we’re sharing some visual inspiration based on a simple image search using some of the words from that list. Use can use the images above to brainstorm for concepts that you might not have considered otherwise, or do some searching of your own!

Have fun!

Posted by Thomas James on 08/11/15 under idea generation,IF community,illustration,technique,Tools
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Illustrator Magoz Shares His Photoshop Workflow

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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In a very useful post on his blog, Illustrator Magoz shares his step-by-step process of creating an illustration using Photoshop. It’s always helpful to see how a fellow artist approaches their craft, even when you already have your own methods in place, because you never know what little tricks you might pick up.

Read the post here.

Posted by Thomas James on 07/22/15 under technique,Tools,tutorial / how-to
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Build a Freelance Illustration Business with This 3-Day Workshop

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Are you a designer, illustrator or creative doodler? Have you ever wondered how you could turn your talents into a business? This three-day workshop will help you create a plan for leveraging your creativity into a successful freelance business.

Run by Sally S. Swindell and Nate Padavick (illustrators and co-founders of They Draw and Cook) this course will give you an inside look at how two artists have built a successful design & illustration studio by fostering a community of artists that empower each other to grow their businesses.

Join Salli and Nate for (3) hour-long sessions to learn how you can leverage community & online content to build a successful freelance business around your creative skills.

Click here for more info >>

 

Posted by Thomas James on 07/01/15 under artists,business,classes,Events,news,resources,technique,Tools,tutorial / how-to,workshops / conferences
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Make Seamless Patterns Quickly and Easily with Pattern Press

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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Have you ever wanted to make seamless repeating patterns but didn’t know how to or tried and found it too difficult? Well now you can with PatternPress for Photoshop.

PatternPress makes the process of creating seamless patterns easy and also adds a heap of extra touches to make them look even more amazing!Click here to see a great video demo and learn how to get started making quick and easy seamless patterns!

Posted by Thomas James on 06/05/15 under apparel,resources,technique
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Incredibly Useful Digital Watercolour Tools for Illustrators

Thomas James

Thomas James

Thomas James is an Illustrator who has worked with The New York Times, WIRED, Pentagram, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many others. You can see his portfolio at thomasjamesillustration.com.
Thomas James

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If you’re a digital illustrator seeking a way to make work that looks handmade, you simply MUST check out this huge collection of digital brushes and tools from the great Nicky Laatz!

Equipped with just this pack – you will be an unstoppable watercolour design machine…without even picking up a paint brush :)

Get the pack here!

Posted by Thomas James on 06/03/15 under art supplies,resources,Stuff,technique,Tools
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Creative ways to think outside the box

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It’s easy to presume that your doodles, illustrations, paintings and creative thoughts should make their way straight to paper or canvas although just for a minute why not think outside the box.  Break the rules and do something creatively different that sets your doodles apart , not to abandon your sketchbook for to long but challenge yourself to something different. To help get you started heres just a few creative ways you can do that and truly think outside the box to show others just how creative you can be.

  • Remember that rather dull phone or tablet case you bought thats lacking a certain creative omph, well grab yourself some paint or a paint based marker and create your own custom case design.  Add your own style and choose your own theme to make a stylish creative case you’d want to show off and not hide.
  • Mugs are great because they often get filled with heart warming teas or beverages although a plain little old mug is some what sad and gloomy. However with some ceramic paint or markers you  could give it an unique handdrawn design of its own that is sure to make your tea breaks even better.
  • For fellow lovers of fabric the dream is no doubt to create your own and you can even without a huge fabric printer. With some acrylic paints and fabric medium you can paint your own designs onto calico, making reams of your own one of a kind design to embellish any type of project from home furnishings to wallart and more.
  • That little pair of converse you happen to have sitting in the hallway could use a splash of ink wouldn’t you say? Grab yourself some pens and markers ( ones that work well on canvas fabric and will not run) and create yourself a fashion piece that will set you apart from everyone else.

Image by artist  Jaco Haasbroek  you can find out more about their work here.

Posted by Kate Leonard on 11/23/14 under technique
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