Friday, December 9, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 9

Next up in the angel paper doll series is a history inspired outfit.  As I looked through one of my reference books, I came across a French outfit from the 1440s.  I really liked the idea of a turban and huge sleeves!

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The image in the book is not purple.  I don't remember what color it is, but I wanted purple! I'm really happy with the complimentary color scheme of purple and yellow/gold, too.

There's still a lot of December left....stop by for more angel outfits!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 8

Every December, I create a new paper doll series and one of the goals for that series is always innovation.  What can I learn, what can I do differently with an experimental set that I don't normally do in my "every day" paper dolls.

Today's post looks fairly simple but I tried to tackle some technical challenges.

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For today, I created an Egyptian inspired outfit. In part, it's also inspired by images of Isis where she's sometimes depicted with wings.  The dress itself is straightforward, but with the collar and hair I needed to try some new techniques.

In Illustrator, shapes are created using fills and strokes that utilize bezier curves.  I use the term shape to really mean any part of an image not just regular, geometric shapes.  Let's take a look at the collar: to create the collar image, I drew a curved line and applied 3 different stroke styles.  I played around with dashed lines until it looked right. I then expanded my lines and changed to fills of the resulting shapes.  It sounds more complicated than it was and I think it saved me some time overall.

The other thing I want to look at is the hair.  Braids are a pain in Illustrator.  I've followed tutorials for created braids, I've tried creating brushes for braids.  I feel like I've tried everything & I'm still not quite there yet.  For this hair, I wanted a stylized, boxy type of braid like you would see on Egyptian wigs.  I created a brush that worked fairly well.  I still have some kinks to work as as far as creating braids, but it's getting closer!!

Check in again tomorrow -- there's more coming up!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 7

One week into December already!! This time of year just flies by for me.  Holidays, birthdays, etc, and I know I'm not alone in the chaos.  I'm really glad I took the time and organized my December paper doll well in advance (for once!).

Today's outfit is inspired by black Madonnas, a devotional image of Mary and Jesus that depicts them both with dark skin.  There are various reasons for that, and a lot of unknowns, too.  It's a fascinating little corner of the art history world.  I don't know much about the images, honestly.  For my purposes, I find that many examples of black Madonnas were simply beautiful images that I found inspired for this project.

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Today's outfit is based loosely on Our Lady of Guidance in Manilla.  The embroidery is very elaborate! I knew that I couldn't create a graphic that elaborate without my computer getting very, very grumpy.  So I simplified it somewhat.  If the flowers look familiar, they are a remix of folk flowers that I created in Illustrator.  That's probably my absolute favorite thing about digital art: the ability to use, reuse, and remix assets for endless possibilities.

Feel free to let me know what you think.  We're one quarter of the way through the months and there's plenty more to come! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 6

Today I have the first of the African inspired outfits for my angel paper doll.  In my research, I came across lots and lots of African and African-American fashion and textiles.  One of those was a dress on Pinterest.  It's a beautiful dress with a beautiful pattern and when I saw it, I thought of corn.

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I know nearly nothing about Kwanzaa but I do know that there is a harvest aspect to it and that, like with many holidays, there's a feast.  This dress, with a "bouquet" of corn, just seemed like such a beautiful image.  And the way it came together was amazing! And I gotta say, drawing complicated things like that head wrap has gotten MUCH easier with a touch screen!

Let me know what you think! Six days in and I think this might be my favorite series ever.

Monday, December 5, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 5

Sometimes I come across something amazing that I never would have thought about on my own.  Today's outfit is just that!

I use Pinterest a lot to organize inspiration.  I love Pinterest! My dad decided to unfollow me because I posted too much stuff and it made him crazy!! That's when I discovered the joy of secret boards... Anyway, today's outfit is based on a really cute vintage Christmas card illustration.  I don't know what it was about the mid-20th century and using candy colors and pastels at Christmas, but I really like it!

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The pink hair is the best! I rarely create non-natural hair colors.  In this instance, I thought I'd translate the vintage inspiration as closely as possible & the little angel on that card had pink hair. And the poinsettias! Pink poinsettias are an honest-to-goodness thing and I love them.

More outfits coming tomorrow.  Let me know what you think about this year's series!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 4

I had several goals for this angel series.  One, I'm trying to establish a sense of style and continuity.  I may have multiple styles but I want each of those to be cohesive.  Much of my vector work is starting to look cohesive, as is much of my raster work in Photoshop. Secondly, I wanted to create a non-white individual.  It's easy for me to default to pale skin and light hair -- that's what I am, more or less.  I'm going to continue to be more conscious of this and continue to diversify.  Third, I wanted an unconventional angel image that ran the gamut from "traditional" to really fun & colorful.

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Today's outfit falls on the more traditional side of the spectrum.  I was going for a traditional choir robe with this outfit.  I really wanted to include a singing face and honestly, I went the Peanuts route with a big ol' oval mouth.  It was easy and graphically expressed exactly the idea I wanted it to express.

Tune in for more tomorrow...and let me know what you think! I'm loving these so far.....!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

December Angel Paper Doll - Day 3

Today is a bit more of a traditional winter outfit.  I LOVE drawing fur! I figured out a method a while back to draw fur in Illustrator so now I add it any time I can!

The inspiration for today was a cardinal.  We have loads of them in our backyard.  I had way too much fun drawing the bird in today's post. Don't be surprised if it pops up again!

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I used the black & red of the cardinal as inspiration for this set.  It's a great set & I'm really, really happy with it. I hope you are, too. Check back tomorrow for more.