Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Month of Halloween Is Upon Us!!!

Haven't posted here in a while but what else is new blah blah blah.  It's amazing I manage to keep myself alive sometimes...

But moving on to better things... ARTWORK!  Been busy experimenting with my style on photoshop these past couple months.  It would be an understatement if I said wrapping my classically trained brain around photoshop was/is a pain in the ass.  In hindsight it would have been extremely helpful if I had bit the bullet and taken a couple classes instead of diving in completely blindfolded, but you live and you learn.  So take it from me, unless you want to have an extremely frustrating couple of years paired with annoying headaches, take a couple JC classes on photoshop.

One of the most frustrating things for me in photoshop was the fact that the "brushes" didn't react like actual real life brushes.  These so called "oil paint" brushes that promised the textured clinging effect of actual oil paint were just plain thick lines void of texture.  The whimsical "watercolor brushes" were splotchy and produced a repetitive artificial pattern.  Why weren't these brushes delivering their promised effects when I made a stroke?!?  Oh, you have to dab them?  Or you have to lay the stroke down then choose a different brush to warp the edges?  After years of training I had to make my brain work in reverse and against logic, hence = headaches.

I've been at trying to concur photoshop for a couple years now, while working in traditional watercolor on the side to reset my brain so it wouldn't explode.  But during this time I had put oil painting on the back burner for multiple reasons; expense, time, prioritizing, etc.  That was until this summer.  Every year I try to participate in the Academy of Arts Alumni Auction in San Francisco and for the past couple years I have been entering watercolors.  This time around I got the itch to enter some oils.  Since it had been literally years since I've painted in oil I figured the experience would be frustrating and time consuming while I retaught myself, but I was wrong.  Muscle memory set in and the paints went down with every satisfying brush stroke.  I looked forward to painting every night (a feeling I don't always feel towards working digitally), and I was actually a little bummed when the 2 paintings were finished.  Apparently this was the reset my brain needed because once the paintings were done I decided to take "longer" on my digital illustrations and layer them more, like I do with my oils. 

vw bus oil painting

mach1 ford mustang oil painting

I had become so wrapped up in the speed aspect of digital that my illustrations were suffering.  Not everything needs to be done quickly.  Speed doesn't equal success.  Yes if a project is done quickly it is beneficial but if you can create a better end product by spending a little more time on it it is worth the time sacrifice.  I've also discovered through this journey that my clients 9 out of 10 times are more than happy to wait a little bit longer for their piece, especially if they know that the end result will be better.

So here is a little look at what little creations I've made lately!

vampire bat illustration halloween j shari ewing
vampire bat wife illustration halloween j shari ewing
 In the spirit of Halloween

I've discovered the work of Meg Park who's style has been very inspirational for me lately.

Also another big inspiration... Stranger Things on Netflix!  I jumped on that band wagon and I'm so happy I did because that show is amazing!  So many nostalgia feels

stranger things eleven illustration j shari ewing

I want to do a huge wordy post about my experiences at art school... hopefully not 5 months from now!  Til next time!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing. Your content was very helpful. You are a marvelous writer. Good work!

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