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Posts Tagged ‘Illustration’

Finally I’ve finished another painting! This winter has been brutal in every way imaginable. Because of this I’ve taken to painting dreamy summer scenes all season to console my shivering skins.

Last summer I took a trip to P-Town Mass, early in the season before the crowds arrived.  The town was just waking up from its long winter slumber; the people and their possessions were slowly and lazily stirring with anticipation for the coming tourist season. Things weren’t ready yet–boats had to be hosed off, patios needed to be set-up. Everything was being taken outside and given a good shake. Provincetown is a very beautiful place, but it’s a tourist town and beautiful places are hard to appreciate when you can’t see the scenery through masses of human bodies in colorful hats and cheap backpacks. It was nice to get a glimpse of the famous local when it’s most mundane, where the most exciting thing happening is that the library is being dusted and the sidewalks refinished. It really is a cute little town.
provincetownwatermark

This painting was done in watercolors and pen on cold-press watercolor paper. I’m most proud of how that tree turned out.

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Did you know that I have a Facebook page? Maybe you assumed so; but maybe you also assumed that I post the same content to my Facebook page as I do my blog. Well that simply isn’t true! I post lots of updates to my Facebook page and Twitter feed that never make it to my blog. They’re mostly small updates like statuses, progress pictures, and new Etsy listings, but you also get to see more of my personal photos, what inspires me, and a lot more of my sense of humor.

If this sort of thing interests you–if you want to see what’s happening between the blog posts–then please ‘like’ me on Facebook at, Facebook.com/Shaunart.net, and follow me on Twitter @ShaunaLeva

Right now on Facebook, I’m posting progress pictures of a painting I’m working on. See my process from beginning to end unfolding on the Facebook wall.

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This weekend (Saturday and Sunday), Kelley and I will be exhibiting and selling our wares at Granite State Comicon! You can find us in the Artist’s Alley, booth number 907. I’ve included a map below with our table circled.  Granite Con will be held at the Radisson Center of New Hampshire, 700 Elm Street, Manchester on September 28th & 29th.

Granitecon 2013 Floorplan copy

The spaces for Granite Con are not as big as the one we had for Connecticon, so we won’t be able to bring our vertical displays, but we still plan to pack our table with leather masks, armor and bracelets, handmade jewelry, costume accessories, hair pieces and more! Kelley will be doing face paint and balloon animals, and I’ll have my caricature supplies on hand! We’re happy to do your makeup for the convention with Kelley’s hypoallergenic face paints, or get your costume started for Halloween with the perfect mask. Want something specific made for Halloween? We take commissions! If you order a mask at the convention, we will have it to you in time to celebrate every costumer’s favorite holiday on Oct 31st.

granitecon icon

For more information on placing a commission, you can visit my website at: http://shaunart.net, or send me an email direct.

For more information on the convention, check out their website: http://granitecon.com

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I’ve finished a new painting! in an effort to hold onto the summer sun for as long as possible, I decided to paint, just for fun, a picture of this beach beauty. It’s not often that I paint a picture for no reason other than my own entertainment, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to paint a pretty lady in bright colors.

This is a mixed-media piece of watercolors and colored pencil. It was not easy to mix that perfectly tanned skin tone without making her look sunburned or too toasty brown. Tanned skin is a very complicated mix of reds, oranges, yellows, purples, and blues–kind of like normal skin I suppose but with a lot more saturation! I tackled the skin by laying yellow washes first. Then I marked my shadows with some light blue and purple washes, and then really built up the color with thick layers of reds and orange. In some places I’m really laying the red on much thicker than you would expect, and even then I still needed the colored pencil to give it that extra blast of color. The skin was easily the most difficult part.

The easiest part of the painting? The Hair. I love to paint masses of linear things and there are few organic structures more linear than hair. Hair is easy not to overwork, and easy to stylize while still meshing with other very detailed and realistic elements of the painting.

One of my personal goals with this painting was not to overwork the surface. It’s easy to belabor a work, scouring every inch to make sure every single little detail is flushed out. Sure, that creates a really crisp image, but it takes an absurd amount of time and is not always necessary.  This painting was an exorcise in simplifying my process without sacrificing detail.

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Backyard Music Series – Bruce Marshall Group
Thursday, June 27 – 6 PM to 8 PM
FREE Admission

This Thursday I am scheduled to set up a vendor table at the Tsongus Center in Lowell, MA for their summer Backyard Music Series. Several Thursday nights this summer the Tsongus center will be hosting a different local headlining band, and admission is free!

This week is the “Bruce Marshall Group.” In addition to the music, local artisans and craftspeople will be selling their wares and artwork out in the evening air. There will also be food and drink available for purchase including a featured beer or wine selection.

The show starts at 6pm and ends at 8pm. For more information on this and other upcoming music events, you can check out http://www.tsongascenter.com/

I will be exhibiting my typical leather crafts, including masks, bracelets, jewelry, and costumewear as well as prints of artwork available for sale. I also plan to do more temporary henna tatoos! Temporary tattoos are lots of fun and great for summer.

I have never been to this event before so I hope that it all goes smoothly! With admission being free, I really hope to see you there. 😀

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Why hello there, blog. Long-time-no-see!

I have been meaning to post here for a while; I have certainly been slacking somewhat when it comes to keeping up the blog. That’s because the past two months have been full of changes for me. All good changes, but changes that have a way of filling up my schedule and shifting my priorities.

Some great changes have been personal, and some have been career oriented. I’m going to stick to the career stuff here and spare you all the details that have no effect on my art, my website, or any of my products.

I’ll start with the big news first. I have a new job! Sort of. I am still working as a freelance illustrator, but I have accepted a more steady in-house position as a medical illustrator. Working regular hours, and earning regular pay. This is me taking a huge exhale. -sigh- Just imagine me putting my feet up here and letting all my worries flow out of me. That’s how I feel right now and it could partly be the weather.

Honestly, I like freelance work. I like the diversity of the work and meeting new challenges. However the struggle with freelance is constantly looking for new work. Constantly seeking new clients and constantly fighting the competition for jobs. Those of you who are unemployed and seeking employment know exactly the feeling I am talking about. That constant search and anxiety over finding work. Freelance is like that even when I have work, because that project will soon come to an end and I’m looking for work while working at the same time. It’s interesting, certainly, but it can be stressful and hard to plan for the future. Hopefully it will be a long time before I have to look for more work, but I will let you know when I am.

The second bit of news I have to report is that I have renewed the lease on my Studio on Western Ave in Lowell. This means I will be in Lowell for at least another year, making masks and art, and having regular open houses. You can find details about my studio and its Open Houses on my website here.

Having a studio space in which to work and to store my materials is key in allowing me to sell my work at fairs and conventions across New England. My next fair will be the Pirate Rendezvous! A free one-day event for charity up in Maine. Come be a pirate for the day while you shop and enjoy family-friendly entertainment. More information on this fair can be found at their website: http://piraterendezvous.com/ It looks like a real blast and I cannot wait! I will have another blog post specifically on the rendezvous shortly.

I don’t want to make this post too long and wordy, so to bring this journal-entry of sorts to a close, I will say that just under a year out of college and my routine and workflow is really starting to take a comfortable shape. I have several jobs that I still have to juggle, and am feeling busier than ever, but my schedule has at last become regular and orderly. I thrive on structure, and having a more defined separation of work and play actually motivates me more to keep up with hobbies like painting for fun and sewing without the pressure of making a buck off of them. I feel busy but not at all stressed, because even though I have fewer hours to myself, there is less question as to how I will spend those hours.

So, in short, I have a job in my field which takes up a lot of my time, but I will continue to make art for fun, craft leather wares, make costumes, and of course blog whenever I get the chance!

Thank you as always for reading!

(P.S, I am still accepting commissions and taking custom orders for my leather wares, but I will inform you of any longer turn-around times based on the intricacy of your indevidual project.)

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Last week with the snow storm of the decade looming, bundled up in front of my computer, I decided to pick up my Wacom tablet and paint a picture digitally. I am not a very experienced digital painter. I’ve only completed a small handful of pieces on the computer before, and none of them have made it into my portfolio. Sure, I use photoshop all the time to color correct, crop, and touch up photos and paintings all the time, but it is very rarely that I do the bulk of the painting on the computer screen.

I had the urge to go back to the computer screen primarily because of time. It takes me a very very long time to create a full scale, fully rendered painting by hand, and sometimes I lose interest in what I am painting or I have another great idea to work on before my first idea is fully realized. Especially for beauty shots like this, the idea and the passion to draw it only sticks around until the next pretty face comes along and I imagine something new; so there was a sense of urgency to get this face and this stunning collar down on paper before it was replaced by another figure in my mind.

The piece was inspired by a costume I saw at Templecon 2013. I used photo reference to sketch out the face and collar by hand, and then I also inked that preliminary sketch before scanning it into the computer. Once uploaded to photoshop, I started rendering by laying down basic blocky colors. Using photoshop is one of the only times that I render with an opaque medium, making it extra challenging to maintain my style. I blended the colors together using primarily the eye dropper and a soft, low opacity brush. I choose to render over some of my inking to turn the figure more in important or especially modeled places like the nose and lips. I left the collar and hair more linear and stylized because that is how I would have dealt with them were this painting done by hand. However by hand, I would have added the lines last, wherein photoshop, I started with all lines and selectively removed or covered them.

I textured the piece with pattern fills and spotty brushes. Adding texture in highly modeled digital pieces is very important in order to avoid a plastic looking finish. The skin has pores and fabrics have a coarseness to them that is easily neglected in digital pieces. Over all I like how this painting came out, and I think that I will be experimenting with digital painting more in the future.

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