Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Finding your Voice in Watercolor

I love skies. I like to watch their ever changing splendor through my large living room windows. However, when it comes to painting them, I am terrible. In fact I am terrible at landscape painting altogether so I decided to take an online class.

I have to tell you it looks much easier than it actually is. I just can't seem to produce a proper looking sky using ultramarine blue and raw sienna so last night after another failure, I decided to take the reference photo and listen to my inner voice, use the colors that I like and see what happens. It couldn't be worse that the first trial. Even if it didn't look like the reference photo, it would at least be nice and vibrant so I went with the phtalo blue.

This is a paint in progress photo. The colors are altered by my ceiling light, but you can see my point.

And this is the final result. I'd like to hear your opinion. Which one do you prefer?

I haven't written this post to showcase my horrible landscapes. I wanted to share my experience and tell you to let go. Stop trying to be perfect, you will become better with practice. Instead, try finding your own voice. Experiment with the colors you like, don't think about not ruining it. We are not all meant to paint landscapes like Turner. By doing this you will set your mind free and you will find the joy of painting which will hopefully lead you into painting again tomorrow.

Another mistake I have been making is to paint too rarely not only from lack of time but also fro making things too complicated and expecting too much from my paintings. I am hoping to change this with my new mind set.

How about you? Please share your experience with your art, your frustrations and how you overcome them. Did you find your own voice or you are still on the look?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Illustrated Family Tree Pregnancy Announcement

About 10 years ago when I realized I will never become bored of making stationery and working with paper and embellishments I also realized if I wanted to call myself an artist I needed to learn how to draw and paint.

And so I did. I still have a long way to go. Between custom invitations and family it's hard to find time to practice. However, my current long term objective is to be able to provide custom stationery based on my own illustrations. Here is an example.

Denisa, one of the brides I worked with for her wedding invitations wrote me to ask for a special pregnancy announcement. She wanted the box in a box idea and showed me an example but I thought I needed something more original than a paper diaper in a little box. So she came up with the family tree idea. Of course I could have used a stock image but I saw this as a challenge to paint it myself.

Here are the stages this project went through:




I think this would make a great scroll invitation. First time I actually embrace the idea of a scroll invitation so if anyone (e.g. Elaine) is interested din scroll invitations from Invitatii Couture, I finally have a signature design that I don't feel like it's somebody else's concept.

I hope you enjoyed this insight into my process.
It was a time consuming project that has taught me a lot, although the final result might not look like something very complicated.
When you make the effort to draw your own illustration you really start appreciating all the artwork there is on the web and have much more respect and consideration for the artists by asking permission and/or buying a licence for using them. This way you encourage them to make some more and help them make a living out of their talent.

More on art as a profession with another occasion. Have a great Sunday!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Winter Wonderland Invitations Part 2

I am back with more winter wonderland invitations.
Here is part one.
And here is the winter wonderland guest book post.


With its muted palette of metallic white-grey, silver and ice blue, this invitation has been a real heat.
I may be discontinuing it for 2015 though or change the design a bit.


This one is a one time invitation. Inspired by the Ice Crystal design above, I was asked to make it 5x7 for cheaper mailing and I also added this delicate lacy snowflake.
Unfortunately the die only performed well on the first few cuts, that it was a pain to cut through the approx. 100 snowflakes I needed.
I can't remember who makes it. I will have to look on the label and come back. Anyway, it's beautiful and can be great for card making. I think I only payed £5 for it. I'd rather pay more and get longer life for my dies though. Personally I prefer the deeper blade dies that come with ejection foam like the old cuttlebug dies or some of the sizzix.

My mother helping me melt the embossing powder.


These are just some of the designs I made while working on other custom orders.
My best ideas come from the messiest creative chaos. Take that away and you leave me without my source of inspiration which is almost my current state after giving up my rented studio space and moving back home with work. Luckily I still have lots of unexplored ideas. More about that in a future post.


This is another design I initially made while working on something else. Somehow a sweet sixteen i aqua blue met some lace and one of my beaded snowflakes.

Then I listed it in my Etsy shop. And then I made some more. I only have some ugly photos I took with my phone (which is a great phone otherwise) but I still wanted to share.


This was another Etsy order I had the pleasure of working on. The invitation is not new but the challenge was to make the information fit on the enclosure cards.
Ana wanted two cards but I couldn't fit the accommodation information on the Directions cards without spoiling the layout.

The accommodation info said "Your room has been reserved for you" which gave me the idea of making the cards like they were some hotel keys. The bride loved it and I loved being able to infuse some creativity in my work. Things like this can make me happier than $1000 which is why I am such a lousy business person :)

Winter Wonderland Invitations Part 1

Winter is almost over so I thought I would say goodbye to it by showing you my collection of Winter Wonderland or Frozen theme invitations. I sure made lots of them this winter thanks to Disney's beautiful movie.

It all started 2 years ago with my friend's Raluca's wedding. Read the story about her invitations here. Not too many people get married in winter so she made a real impression.

I made the same design for baby baptism this year.


I made these in full summer. That was when I realized not only Australia but also Brasil had winter when we had summer.

The pictures don't show their real beauty.
Each page was painted with two shades of shimmery watercolors, then we added white glitter for extra sparkle.

Same treatment for the snowflakes.
There is something zen about making invitations by hand. I mean really by hand not like printing a full color invitation and tying a bow on it.


You already know this set from my Winter Wonderland guestbook post, but I wanted to show you more pictures of the money envelopes.

They were inspired by this one. I really like the vintage cottage feel you get by printing on textured cream paper.


Working with Ailin was such a wonderful experience. She was one of those non-Bridezillas who know what they want, yet they give you breathing space, who have a clear deadline but they don't e-mail you every day to see how their order goes. Thank you, Ailin, I will always treasure making these for you.

Hand stamped snowflakes on the envelopes using 2 shades of blue to match the beads colors.

Here is what I started from. Mixing beads is even better than mixing paint. That is why I am a stationery artist, not a painter :)

And the matching guest book I made for Ailin.