This is my most recent illustration, and the latest addition to my portfolio. I became fixated on blanket forts over the Christmas break, insisting that we build one for New Years Eve at Jay's house, which basically tore apart his living room and left an unholy mess. At the same time, I was illustrating my first full sized watercolour illustration in his kitchen. It's inspired by the feelings that I had as a child, when my sister and I would make undending blanket forts between the couch and coffee table, or through the basement. They always seemed such a safe and cozy place to play. I am including a few behind-the-scenes peeks below. I plan for these looks at my process and inspirations to be a new addition to the illustrated story posts that I have loved for so long. I hope that you embrace them and enjoy the new information about how I work!
1. Ink sketch on watercolour paper after having erased the pencil underdrawing.
2. Almost-completed watercolour painting. Notice that the window panes are frosted but blank, and so are the picture frames. There is also significantly less textural detail in the fabrics and wood textures. However, the watercolour brush strokes and texture hold through to the final painting and add a really nice translucent quality to the final illustration.
3. Working on the file in Adobe Photoshop. Final details added at this stage include the photographed textures in the quilts, wood, clothing, and carpet. The wallpaper texture was created in Adbe Illustrator as a pattern and applied to the walls. This involved making a large pattern from my small repeating pattern and then skewing it in photoshop to match the perspective of the room. I also added the trees outside the window (also from a photograph of my own) and the two paintings. The painting on the left is an illustration from my portfolio and the painting on the right is one that hangs in my living room and was left to me by my grandmother. At this stage I also digitally altered the gaze of the girl to be less direct than it was initially illustrated, as I found it a touch too piercing.
I gave a final framed print on archival hot press rag paper to my mother for her 60th birthday. She did the classic thing that mothers do and showed it to everyone she saw that night, which was really touching. I love that she loves it, even though neither of us have a clue where she will put it, since most of her art doesn't involve illustration and tends more to abstracts and bright florals.