Sunday, October 20, 2013


Ta-dah! Week 2 of MATS done and dusted. This week was Home Decor week. I loved this category. What a wonderful industry. I'd love to pick up work in this field again. This weeks assignment was to create some plates that you might expect to find in a store such as Anthropologie .

As usual Lilla eased us into the assignment by first getting us to draw.... Bromeliads!! Of course we had to google them to find out what on earth they were, but they turned out to be the most wonderfully odd assortment of plants and flowers. The idea was to encourage a fresh approach to floral artwork.

I was slightly disappointed with my first weeks effort (self critique on that to come when I get the chance!) but I felt I did not push myself enough to get out of my comfort zone. I ended up reverting back to my usual ways at the last minute.

This week I made more of an effort to really spend some time on the studies and sketches before getting to my final assignment piece. It was so much fun to get the paints out and to really play.

I started off really detailed and tried to get a bit of realism happening, but after a while I got tired this approach and went the complete opposite. I started to really enjoy the feel of the paint on the brush and loved to get some colour down onto the paper. I really need to do more of this because I loved it!

I still didn't feel that I had studied the subject enough, so I changed paths a bit and tried out some line artwork. 

This was a bit of a revelation as I accidently used a marker that seemed to bleed into the paper really quickly, so I had to work fast. This was a fantastic way to free things up for me and I really enjoyed just sketching and not thinking to much about an end result.

I now felt ready to takle the assignment. I then used my lightbox to trace some black, hand-painted shapes from the lineart I had created, with the intention of using them as coloured layers in my artwork. 

So these black blobs were scanned and then traced in Illustrator to create vector artwork. Then I coloured them up and layered them to create the hand painted look I was after. 

Why didn't I just hand paint the final art in full colour? I do hope to try that with one of the projects in the coming weeks, but I knew I wanted to really play around with the colour and arrangement in this piece, so this approach gave me that freedom.

I also scanned some of my line art to create some contrasting interest to play with.

I used this sketch as a template to help me layer and arrange all of the elements in my design. Then came my favourite part - COLOUR!

I followed my instincts to begin with but then tried to challenge myself by using some combinations that were a bit more out of my comfort zone.

In the end I went with what felt more natural, but I hope to challenge myself a bit more with colours as we progress with the course. 

I REALLY need to work on some sort of logo for myself, but in the meantime I am bluffing my way through!!! 

It's been a brilliant first couple of weeks, and I have so much more to share, but for now, it's good night! A new week of inspiration dawns!!


Victoria Johnson Design said...

I really like the way you'v explained each stage of the process. I love the hand-painted quality of your plates. So naive and really pretty!!!!!

Dreaming on a Star said...

Lovely work Danielle. I enjoyed reading your blogpost

Danielle McDonald said...

Thank you both!

lil kim said...

Lovely work Danielle! And congrats on getting chosen for the critique - so beautiful.
How are you doing with the course?
I feel like I am struggling to keep up a bit - I keep missing posts and then have to catch up. I'm sort of looking forward to having time to reflect on everything - so much information!
anyway keep up the good work xx

Danielle McDonald said...

Thanks Kim. Its reslly tough to keep up with the work load isnt it? I really felt it this week. We have had visitors and our little baby has been unwell so I still have some classroom stuff to catch up on. Lucky it was kids books this week so I was not too overwhelmed. My assignment turned into a bit of a last minute job in the end...its all I could manage this week. Scared of this week as I suspect it's going to really push me out of my comfort zone!