August 6, 2014

In an effort to boost creativity and explore some media I often deem ill-suited for a project (or, honestly, just too demanding), I've created a challenge for myself. I've written down fifteen different media on thirty pieces of paper (twice, if you do the math). Using a random word generator, the world wide web will assign a single word on which my daily illustration will be based. I will then execute the project in the chosen medium, posting preliminary sketches and experiments along with the finished product.  (please scroll down)

day 1: banana stamp

August 7, 2014

So, day 1.

Bananas & stamps. 

Well, we're all familiar with Warhol's banana and I figured I'd try and step away from this imagery. And, seeing as I set the rules myself, I suppose I'm allowed to modify and break them. I decided instead to work with the leaf of the banana tree. 

I spent a bit of time researching and collecting photos and then sketching with markers and colored pencils. After having a pretty clear idea of the style I wanted to achieve, I carved a rubber stamp into a banana tree leaf.


I started experimenting with stamps and watercolor washes. 

I decided to get away from color and create a black and white print with repeated elements. I rolled out a very simple black on white background onto a sheet of watercolor paper using a brayer . I didn't worry about an even black as texture, in my opinion, is the soul of stamping. I cut out the leaf unit and laid it out onto the black ink background. 

End result:

And, day 1 complete. Just 29 more to go.

This is harder than I expected. 

day 2: spider photoshop

August 8, 2014

And, day 2.

Spiders & Photoshop. 

Today I started, as always, with some sketches. I used a pencil and plastic triangle to create a system of connecting webs. The linking areas between the webs reminded me of gems. I decided to develop this concept. 

I then created a vector image of these linking systems in Illustrator and placed it into Photoshop and made a kaleidoscopic print. I used the colors of a Peocilotheria Metallica, or Peacock Parachute Spider, a very rare blue tarantula. 



The repeating elements are coincidentally similar to the markings on the Peocilotheria Metallica. 

I'm pleased. 

day 3: ice cream collage

August 9, 2014

Phew, day 3.

Ice Cream & Collage. 

Cut, cut, paste. Not much to say apart from the fact that I'm clearly print and pattern driven. Every "illustration" I've done so far immediately falls into a repetition. I suppose it's my secret desire to become a textile designer finally rearing its gorgeous, halo-crowned head. 

Anyway, I cut a lot of old magazines up to finally start feeling out a direction. After that, it was all pretty simple. The ice cream cone really is just a triangle and a circle, after all. 

No progress photos necessary so, here she is. 

I really enjoyed this process. I have done a couple pieces like this before with my own watercolor washes. Might have to revisit those ideas. 

day 4: acrylic fish

August 10, 2014

Oh man, day 4.

Fish & Acrylic. 

Well, acrylic paints are probably my least favorite medium and its likely because I don't understand them at all. Tonight I tried something new: attacking the project head on with zero preparation (no sketching, image referencing, etc). And, suffice it to say, it was a challenge. 

A few things for me to remember in the future: 

1. Don't treat acrylics like watercolors or like oils. Although versatile, they are their own beast. 

2. Always prepare. Arrogance can be your worst enemy in painting. 

3. Step away. There's a fine line between underworked and overworked. 

4. If you want to understand a medium, practice more than once every five years. 

And, signing off. 


day 5: watercolor kitchen

August 11, 2014


Kitchen & Watercolor. 

Well, you couldn't have paired them better. I have done quite a bit of recipe, produce, food and farming illustrations recently and I find them so enjoyable. This was no exception. 

My family is one of tea drinkers. We've burnt more kettles than toast and through the years we've had a beautiful collection. I decided to represent an object of versatile design and personal importance. 



Taking a break to wish you a Happy Elephant Day

Elephants have become a big part of my life in the last decade. From a beautiful trip to Tanzania to my sister's participation in an elephant conservation project (and my graphic design work for the organization), I've learned about their endangerment and population decline. But, I have also learned how important they are to the environment as natural migratory path creators (and up-keepers!) and essential seed dispersers. They are giant and beautiful creatures that exhibit compassion and play. 


To learn more about the Southern Tanzania Elephant Project, please visit the link ---->
side note: check out the logo on their website designed by yours truly!

day 6: linocut glasses

August 15, 2014

That break lasted longer than I intended, but: school, work, life. 

Glasses & Linocut. 

Printmaking is one of my favorite artistic processes. Having only recently begun my explorations with monotype and etchings, I had neglected reductive processes such as woodblock printing and linocut. 

Printing at home without a press is very challenging and it's hard to achieve any sort of depth with the water based inks I am using. After some experimenting and manipulating, I was able to achieve a desired look: one much closer to my style. 


day 7: collage seeds

August 16, 2014

Seeds & Collage. 

After considering the many ways in which "seeds" could be interpreted, I decided to again revisit my familial kitchen and remember the entertainment (and annoyance) of getting strawberry seeds stuck in your baby molars. 

Naturally, I resorted to watercolor and repetition. 

I don't like to use my nicer watercolors for washes. 

Cut, cut, cut. 

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 9.01.32 PM.png

And, done. 

day 8: watercolor sparrow

August 17, 2014

Sparrow & Watercolor. 

I think this may have been my first time actually sitting down and illustrating a bird. So it's no surprise I learned that I need a lot more practice. Its likely that my next challenge will be several days dedicated solely to bird studies. 


I don't particularly like taking these assignments so literally but I needed the practice. Perhaps I could have explored some of the sparrow's beautiful details such as their extended wings or flock flight patterns. Next time.