Christmas designs and a free printable!

I have some free printables for anyone who wants them! These are to make a cute little christmas bunting. Just print (you can pick red or blue or combine the two!) and cut out around the grey outline, then punch holes at the top of each shape and thread the ribbon through. Easy! I recommend good quality cardstock or photopaper because they can tend to curl up over time on cheap computer paper and the color doesn’t print as nice. click on the links below the images to download as a pdf.

The blue version: michellelobeliachristmasbuntingblue

The red version: michellelobeliachristmasbuntingred

These were made out of the icons I drew for these christmas patterns:

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And if you like this pattern, consider buying it on a cushion  or another item I have available on redbubble here.

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I joined Redbubble

I finally got around to joining redbubble, yay! Here are some of my favourite products so far:

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All of these were painted in acrylics and finished up in photoshop, by the way. I don’t normally work in acrylics so I had a bit of fun getting messy!

Here’s how to find my redbubble shop: http://www.redbubble.com/people/michellelobelia

MATS A week 2

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The second weeks assignment was much more difficult than the first both because of the subject matter and the format (plates!) I couldn’t find a way of drawing Staffordshire pottery figurines in my style in a way that I liked. They are super cute in a derpy kind of way and I can see a lot of artists styles would be a perfect fit for the subject matter, but when I was half way through my first plate having finished the mini with some serious doubts, I was so frustrated I decided to scrap it and start over.
I decided to go a little broader and see if I could find something I was better suited for that was still within the realm of the subject matter. Soon I was looking at antique plates from the same era and I decided to study antique plates in general. I liked the monochromatic designs with very ornate detail and imagery which stayed within that pastoral, english country life theme.

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I brainstormed ideas for things to draw and made thumbnails for how I might want to compose the designs. In my first attempt I had done my usual method of drawing lots of icons and then trying to fiddle around with them in photoshop, but I couldnt shake the feeling that it just looked like art slapped on a plate and not art actually made for a plate and so I was determined to take a more thoughtful approach this time.
I had never designed on a circle before and its a lot harder to plan for scale. So I went super basic and actually took a plate and traced it out on two pieces of paper taped together (I wanted to be able to fit the art easily into the scanner later). I draw the whole plate design in pencil directly on the circle, only drawing the quails separately. I used this method for two of the plates and on the last plate with the central image I drew a quarter of a circle on the corner of the page and did border that I could complete in photoshop and drew the central image on a different sheet of paper.

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Deciding the colors took awhile, but I really wanted to stick with the idea of referencing those old antique plates so I still wanted most of the line work to be monocromatic in blue and white. In the end I decided to pop in some soft yellow to add a bit of contrast but without taking away from the idea too much.
It was hard to find a way to compose the presentation image because most of the detail was on the edges. Im still not sure if it pops enough as a smaller thumnail image, but I like the artwork and think it would look really cute on melamine plates for a summer time picnic or something.
I’m proud of myself that I took the time to do the whole border and not try to take digital shortcuts because I think it made the finished piece more successful (the stippling in the border took me foooooreeever). I’m pleased that I’m learning to draw birds in a less representational way and work on stylizing them in my own way. Sometimes I worry that my artwork is too cute and not adult enough or cool enough but I absolutely adored drawing those quails and pheasants and the other country birds and I hope my concept comes across.

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MATS A week 1

I have been wanting to take the Make Art That Sells course by Lilla Rogers since it first started. I’m finally taking it! I cleared my schedule as much as possible so that I could focus and get as much out of the course as I could. I’ve just finished the first assignment and I want to describe my experience and process as much for myself as for any curious on lookers.

Although I have a beautiful studio, I decided to work on the table in the living room because it’s right beside the furnace and therefore much warmer. So I loaded up a big tray with my favourite art supplies and grabbed a bunch of paper. I use regular printer paper for dry media because it’s inexpensive and fits nicely into the scanner. sketchbooks are much harder to make flat on the scanner bed and sometimes make me work in a less psychologically free way because I don’t want crappy pages in there forever. Here’s a photo of the little drawings I did during the mini. I played around with a few materials and I wanted to challenge myself to include a medium I don’t usually use. That turned out to be charcoal pencils. I like how gritty they are and how it forced me to draw simpler shapes.

After doing the mini I scanned in all my drawings and put my art supplies tray back in my studio and took out the graphics tablet to get to work on the assignment. I watched the reviews from the other sessions during breaks so that I would have all of Lilla’s good advice floating around my brain while I worked. When I was completely done, I watched one of the reviews again and I took notes on my work. I  thought about what I had done well and what I thought I needed to work on. I made a list of things I wanted to change or try. Then I went back to my piece and worked on it for another day. I wanted to push myself and make it better than ok. The first image is the before and the second is the after: collectionsheet2

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In my revision I added texture to the background, more patterns to the pyrex, moved icons around, added the text, worked on the coordinates some more, added a little icon on the bottom and cleaned up the little colour dots, and quite a bit more. Lots of little changes that added more interest and variety and slightly improved the piece.

While I was doing the mini and drawing pasta, I started to think about my mother in law- an Italian and an excellent maker of pasta. I had scenes of dinner at her house in my head, with the sunflower tablecloth, espresso after dinner, and the earthy tones that decorate her kitchen. I decided to follow that story as the concept for my little collection. I actually have enough artwork that I could do another few co ordinates. maybe I will! Because it suited the narrative and because I wanted to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone, I decided to use reds yellows and beiges instead of my usual cool colour preferences (although I popped some blue in there because blue is the best!)

All in all, I’m pleased with my effort and I think I learned a lot. There are still a lot of things I need to improve on however (I made a list!) and since the assignments from past years are included in the course material, I’m planning on circling back when I have gone through the course completely and trying out the assignment again with another classes theme!