Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Snowy Fowls and The West Wind

Happy Wednesday all those who have wandered over to this blog!

Today, I've spontaneously decided to share some paintings and sketches that I've done for a project that began last year. The project is currently on hold, so I thought it would be nice to post up some of the work.

For the most part, I was working on the fantasy characters in the story our team was developing. They were all hybrid creatures, based on the species of animals found in Scandinavian countries. I won't be revealing all of the illustrations done thus far, just a few.

First up, there's The West Wind. I've shared a few teaser close ups of him a few months ago {here}
He is a forest dwelling spirit. He can't quite fly like a bird but he can leap distances and glide on the wind because he is a hybrid of a lynx and a flying squirrel.


Here he is surrounded by some 'action' sketches.
And here he is all by himself, enjoying his walk in the woods. He might look peaceful, but he can kick butt, I assure you.


(Click to see a larger)

And now we have "The Snowy Fowls". They're hybrids of snowy owls and foxes - get it? Kind of cute, no? *Don't look at me like that*
Anyhow, these guys were once an arctic fox and a snowy owl who were subjected to a witch's experimental spell. Now their task is to figure out whether this mishap is a gift or a curse, and whether to seek her out in the hopes of getting changed back.

Character painting with some of my favourite exploratory sketches.

Character painting with some of my favourite exploratory sketches.
Snowy Fowl 1

Here are what the sketches looked like, if you were curious.
Snowy Fowl 2
 (Click to see a larger)

Painted with waterproof coloured inks, watercolour, and gouache on Bristol Smooth paper.

I still have to figure out the names for each of these fowls. Maybe one day they'll come to me in a dream, or something. :)

Thanks for visiting!

All images are ©Mariya Olshevska and may not be used or re-purposed without the artist's consent.
Please give credit if you share the images. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ostara Tarot Card Designs

Hello and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday. I had a pretty busy one. But it was a good kind of busy, so it was a pleasant time.

One of the projects I was working on was for a Ostara Tarot, which is collective of lovely illustrator ladies from Vancouver who are making their very own tarot card deck. They will also be having an art show, where there deck will be launched, in late March.

What they hired me to do, was come up with some designs to go on the back of the cards. I was given a generous amount of freedom with my designs, so I was very excited to get started. My inspiration came from Norse and Celtic knot-work, and the word "Ostara" itself, which is one of the names applied to the celebration of the spring equinox. For the most part, I chose colours and shapes which alluded to the blossoming of flowers and to the hues prominent during dawn and dusk.


I chose to render my designs in Adobe Illustrator because I wanted to learn how to better create knot-work art with vector shapes. Also, I wished to achieve perfect symmetry because I thought it important that the backs of the cards do not prematurely reveal that the face card may be upside down - a variable some tarot readers an important part of their fortune telling.

As always I started a handful of thumbnail sketches, which I'm not showing because they ended up scattering all over my notebook and became to troublesome to scan.

Then, I picked out some of my favourite ideas and drew them a bit bigger.


Then, one by one, I worked on each idea in Illustrator, with some coming along quicker than others. Design A was the fastest out of them all to come to completion.

Design A
Design B, which is actually the last sketch in that picture, took the longest, and was the last to be finished. After working on it and feeling dissatisfied, I decided to temporarily move on to the next idea.

Design B Works-In-Progress: Initially, I liked the shimmering light idea for the background, but just quite wasn't happy with the look 

Design B WIPs: many new thumbnails and experiments later, I ended up with a much more different look, but one that was more harmonious with the other two designs.
Design B: Finished (Or is it? Dun...dun...dun)
Design C might look most laborious in regards with intertwining the knots (which is more tedious to do digitally in Illustrator, than transitionally with paint), but it came together fairly quickly after I was satisfied with the colour scheme.

Design C
And here are all three illustrations together. They've been cropped to how the cards will be trimmed, and I've given them a subtle paper texture (in Photoshop).

Here are some close up shots.
(click to enlarge)
And that's it for the art, for now anyway. There may be some subtle changes in the future, but today I feel like these pieces are finished. Which design is your favourite and you think would look best on a tarot deck? Please let me know in the comments! :)

Prints are now available on my Society6 shop and my RedBubble page. More products will be available shortly.

P.S. - If you're interested in learning how to create knot-work in illustrator too. Here are some of the tutorials that helped me:

"Three Ways to Create Celtic Knots in Illustrator" - by Iaroslav Lazunov via Tutsplus
"Drawing celtic knotwork 1" + "Drawing celtic knotwork 2" by Greg Kulz

I feel like I should write a tutorial on subject myself because I've picked up a few tricks throughout the process. Hopefully I'll make it happen sometime!

Hope you enjoyed this first blog post of 2015. Happy January!

 




Friday, December 19, 2014

Freebie Friday - Holiday Inspired Paper Textures

Happy Friday!

Today's textures were inspired by the holiday season that is upon us and were made with gift wrap paper, stationary paper, and some gold and silver spray paint. Hope you enjoy!

(The bottom three textures are all the same design, but different colours. I added all three, cause 'why not?' )




As always, feel free to use these resources for personal or professional projects but please:

Do not claim the original resource images as your own,
Do not redistribute commercially. Basically, don't save and sell the resources as your own, but by all means do share the link to this page with others. :)
Do not use these textures as a base to create your own stock art/resources.

And, as always, please feel free to share anything you've made with these resources with me. I'd love to have a look! =)

Previous Freebie Friday posts:

Speckled & Stamped Paper
Animal Print Textiles
Sweater Season Textures
Subtle Fabric Textures
Paper Textures 1
Paper Textures 2
Stained Coffee Textures
Layered Lace Textile Textures
Colourful + Abstract Textile Textures
Branches, Berries and Blossoms
Blue Pattern Textile Textures
Black and White Textiles (part 3)
Black and White Textiles (part 2)
Black and White Textiles (part 1)
Coffee Stained Paper
Fanciful Florals
Fanciful Florals 2
Fanciful Florals 3 
Vintage Inspired
Green Textiles
Red Textiles
Denim Textile Textures

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Freebie Friday - Speckled and Stamped Paper Textures

Hello and Happy Holidays!

Sorry I haven't posted any new texture packs last month. I'm afraid time ran away from me. To make up for that, however, I'll be posting two new texture sets this month. One today, and one next week!

Today's set is a result of my playing around with rubber letter stamps and gel pens. Hope you'll find them fun and useful! =)


As always, feel free to use these resources for personal or professional projects but please:

Do not claim the original resource images as your own,
Do not redistribute commercially. Basically, don't save and sell the resources as your own, but by all means do share the link to this page with others. :)
Do not use these textures as a base to create your own stock art/resources.

And, as always, please feel free to share anything you've made with these resources with me. I'd love to have a look! =)

Previous Freebie Friday posts:

Animal Print Textiles
Sweater Season Textures
Subtle Fabric Textures
Paper Textures 1
Paper Textures 2
Stained Coffee Textures
Layered Lace Textile Textures
Colourful + Abstract Textile Textures
Branches, Berries and Blossoms
Blue Pattern Textile Textures
Black and White Textiles (part 3)
Black and White Textiles (part 2)
Black and White Textiles (part 1)
Coffee Stained Paper
Fanciful Florals
Fanciful Florals 2
Fanciful Florals 3 
Vintage Inspired
Green Textiles
Red Textiles
Denim Textile Textures

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Inktober Challenge: Completed!

Hello, and welcome to November. Congratulations on surviving the "boos" and pumpkins of October and good luck on making it though the Christmas decorations already overtaking the towns. They start appearing earlier each year, don't they?

Anyhow, a few posts ago I mentioned joining in the Inktober challenge fun. Originally, I was only aiming to complete 2 drawings a week, but then I ended up making all 31. They're all pretty small - on average less than 3x3 inches in size, and "casual" compared to the style of my finished work but I'm still pretty proud of myself for setting aside time for them. My theme was tokens and characters from my favourite films. Hope you enjoy!

Calendar view =) Films were picked each day based on mood.
 And here are a few close ups:

part 1

part 2

part 3
Oh, and if you're curious about which movies have been represented here's the list below.  (You can also flip through the images individually and read a tad more about the pictures via my Instagram page)

1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (I'm a fan of the 1st and 2nd movies, less pleased with the ones that followed)
2. Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers (I love all three parts of the trilogy, this was just the one the quotation is from)
3. The Mummy (Love The Mummy Returns also)
4. The Fifth Element
5. The Third & The Seventh (Only 12 minutes long, but fantastic)
6. You've Got Mail
7. The Fountain
8. Frozen
9. Pirates of the Caribbean (Fairly fond of all of them)
10. Inception
11. How to Train Your Dragon
12. How to Train Your Dragon 2
13. Tangled
14. The Wedding Singer
15. Ice Age
16. Disney's Robin Hood
17. Ghostbusters (1 and 2)
18. Titanic
19. Meet Joe Black
20. Sherlock Holmes
21. Guardians of the Galaxy
22. Wedding Crashers
23. Tristan and Isolde
24. James Bond - Skyfall
25. Hellboy
26. X-Men: First Class (I'm a fan of all the X-Men films, but I'll say that First Class and Days of Future Past are my favourite)
27. Batman Begins (Love all 3 films from the Dark Knight trilogy)
28. Back to the Future (The 1st and 3rd of the trio are great, but I'm not very fond of the 2nd one for some reason)
29. The Avengers
30. Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring
31. Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King (There were still a few movies I could have given a nod to, but I decided to finish off the challenge by rounding out my Lord of the Rings collection because if I had to pick my MOST favourite film (or trilogy) that would be it.)

*Most of the pieces were completed with micron pens, ink wash, and/or white ink/gouache. 

Thanks for visiting! =)

All images are ©Mariya Olshevska