Grey Wagtail with Adobe Illustrator

Grey Wagtail Illustration
Grey Wagtail Illustration

Every day I read blogs and every day I'm inspired. Inspired by things I see, blog designs, photography, words, images. Back waaaay back when, as a teenager I used to love art, visiting galleries, drawing, pan and ink, watercolours, you get the idea. And then I was wed, I became a mother and creativity was, to some degree put on the backburner. When I started this blog it was on a bit of a whim, I had no idea the enjoyment, friends and creative direction and sense of belonging that I would find, but I have found all those things and more. Blogging for few years now I've found my 'happy place' and the confidence to try out new things, naturally things one tries may go tits up but the point is that you tried - bear with me this is going somewhere...

As I was walking round some local gardens this week I thought to myself how great it would be to return with a sketchbook and draw things. Sitting in the sunshine, soaking up nature, getting creative. It's something I plan to do next week, but for now I'm stepping forward and saying loudly 'I want to re-discover the creative me', hence this new series of posts. I look forward to sharing things I've seen that have inspired me and in what ways I've been rekindling my own creative flame. Self-indulgent? Possibly, but then I suspect that many of us have old passions that have taken a back seat whilst parenthood and life takes priority. Hopefully some of you might be able to relate to me on this one.

And so this morning I took at my long neglected cheapy Wacom drawing tablet and took the plunge at drawing something, breaking myself in gently by copying a vintage illustration. First of all I opened the image in Photoshop and drew round the outline of it using the pencil tool.

Using Photoshop and Illustrator to create images
Using Photoshop and Illustrator to create images

Next I 'hid' the background, which left the outlines.

Using Photoshop and Illustrator to create images
Using Photoshop and Illustrator to create images

Then I opened Adobe Illustrator and copied the outlined image over from Photoshop. I used the pencil tool to add colour, adjusting the opacity of the fills to suit.

Using Photoshop and Illustrator to create images
Using Photoshop and Illustrator to create images

I added detail using the pencil tool set to 'feathered' edges.

Using Photoshop and Illustrator to create images
Using Photoshop and Illustrator to create images

Then finally when I was happy with it all, I dragged the original outline layer from the screen, leaving this.

Using Photoshop and Illustrator to create images
Using Photoshop and Illustrator to create images

The whole process only took half an hour but I learnt a lot, enjoyed myself and gained more confidence to get back to my former creative-self!

Somethings that have inspired me this week?

1. Greetings cards

I am a complete bugger at buying cards that I know I don't need just because I love the look of them. I justify it to myself as 'one day I'll need a card for someone surely?' but I know deep down that I'll keep them, to look at and stroke. Some cards I buy because I like the colours on them, cards below are typical example of this,I'll likely scan it on to my computer and create a colour palette for a blog theme. Oh it's a chilling insight into my devious little mind this is...

Baking by Ruth Blackford
Baking by Ruth Blackford
Sewing by Ruth Blackford
Sewing by Ruth Blackford

Aren't they gorgeous? I bought them in a local card shop, Hallmark I think it was, the illustrator is Ruth Blackford and I've stalked down her website: http://www.ruthblackford.com/

2. Creative people You may have noticed I have a new blog illustration. I finally took the plunge and decided to commission someone to help me create the look I knew in my head I wanted, but hadn't the skill to do myself. I choose the lovely Gemma Garner. Having read each others blogs for a while now I felt confident that she knew me and my blog well enough to totally 'get' what I craved in terms of design. It's been a wonderful process form start to finish and Gemma has been fab, sending me moodboards, draft first illustration concepts and keeping me up-to-date on things. I cannot recommend her services enough. I am also more than a bit in love with her hand drawn biscuit illustrations for sale for $7 on Creative Market, and seeing her selling on there has prompted me to take the leap to selling my WordPress themes on there myself - exciting times!

gemma
gemma

So then, how about you, is there an old passion lying dormant within you for something you used to enjoy doing years ago?