Friday, April 26, 2013

Freebie Friday - Red Pattern Textile Textures

So, textile resource sharing continues!

This week I have a set of red fabric patterns available:

 



You can also grab the whole set from a zip folder on my {deviantart page}

Again, 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, I'd love it if you shared anything you've made with these resources with me. I'd love to have a look! =)

Cheers!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Freebie Friday - Vintage Inspired Textile Textures

Happy Friday!

Recently I had this idea to share some resources which could be useful for people who work with a digital collage type illustration style. I've started going through scraps of fabric that have collected in my house throughout the years. This week I've ironed and scanned a whole bunch of them. And now I want to make them available for use for my fellow artists!
So I'm initiating "Freebie Friday" - and henceforth on Fridays, whenever I make a new set of textiles I'll post them on this blog where you'll be able to grab them and hopefully enjoy them.

This week I've made a Vintage Inspired textile set of 6 patterned pieces. Each image is roughly 8.5 x 11", 300 dpi.



You can also grab the whole set from a zip folder on my {deviantart page}

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, I'd love it if you shared anything you've made with these resources with me. I'd love to have a look! =)

Cheers!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Business Cards Comparison - Moo.com vs. Vistaprint

Hi there!
This morning I found a package by my doorstep. Seems some business-cards I ordered had arrived. A couple of weeks ago, after a conversation about different print services I became curious to try the Vistaprint printing service. I was quite skeptical about it, but decided to try it out anyway.

So, the cards came today. I opened the box and lo and behold - there were 250 cards that left me quite underwhelmed. "Vistaprint.ca - make an impression" Sorry, I wasn't impressed, and I don't think I'd be making an impressive impression with the business cards you sent me. :(

I ordered Pro Business Cards with a glossy finish. I checked all print recommendations and templates on the Vistaprint site and made sure everything was uploaded properly when I ordered them, so I hoped the results would be better than how they came. (Apologies for oddly lit photos. It was an early and rainy morning, and the set up was quite impromptu)

(please click on the pictures for the full-sized image)
Vistaprint card
Here's the back of my card.
To compare, below is the image of the pattern I used for this card's back side. Red and white, not this borderline orange color that Vistaprint decided I wanted. Also, only one side turned out to be glossy - the information side- a detail which wasn't apparent when I was placing the order.




Also, let me compare the vista print with the set of cards that I got printed from Moo.com
Moo card
So much better! When I got my Moo business-card package back in November I had no complaints whatsoever. I was very happy!
Now for a side by side card comparison:
Moo card on top, Vistaprint on the bottom
As you can see, the card from Moo is of the right colour and the line-work is thicker and crisper.
Let's have an even closer look:
Vistaprint
(Above)The Vistaprint's product line quality is rather pixelated. When I look at the card it looks sad.

Moo.com
The line quality here is very nice, smooth and crisp. When I look at the card I think it looks fantastic. I would be confident in handing out this card to potential clients.

Also, let's have a close look at the other side:
Vistaprint
This is a close up of the logo on the information side of my card. What's up with that halo of pixels floating around the lines? Sure, you'd have to look very close to see it, but I'm a perfectionist so I had to point it out. Oddly enough the red colour (which is the same shade of red as on the backside pattern) came out fine on this front side.

Moo.com
Pretty crisp and clean.

For the record, I'm not trying to bash Vistaprint, I just personally wouldn't order from them again. I wish I was happier with them because I love getting a good, frugal deal. However, I guess it just goes to show - sometimes you get what you pay for.

For 250 cards from Vistaprint I paid around $35. (with shipping)
*If one is on a tighter budget, needing lots of cards and is considering using Vistaprint - some precautions I would take to get the best quality from their service would be: to print a black and white graphic image on the backside and use a graphic with thicker line-work, if you can. I think with that approach it would be more likely that the cards would come out slicker looking.

For 50 cards from Moo I paid about $25. (with shipping) For 200 cards from Moo it would be a minimum of $70.00. 
*Pricy, but they do have discounts and promotions happening every now and then. I would recommend signing up for their newsletter. And I did love Moo's quality - they even send business-card holders with the purchase. Another cool thing about Moo, is that you can have as many different back side images as you want! This perk is particularly appealing to me as a creative professional.
**P.S If you decide to order from Moo.com, here's a link that will give you 10% off your first order.

To sum up, I wouldn't personally recommend Vistaprint, sorry! But if you follow my (hypothetical) tip, I think you might be able to get a better value for your buck from them.

Anyway, let's look at my Moo printed cards instead:
(my phone number has been edited out for internet privacy's sake)

Best of luck with your business card orders!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Barber of Pie-ville

Hi!
It's a shame I haven't been able to post anything in a while, but that's because I've been super busy with work. However, expect to see more frequent updates from me in the future.
So, here's the most recent piece that I've finished. (Well, actually I (always) think I could fiddle with it some more, but I'll step back for it for now) This work was for a sort of poster competition for an opera production called "The Barber of Barkerville", which is an adaptation of Rossini's "Barber of Seville". Haha, so no, not "The Barber of Pie-ville". That was just one of my silly jokes. But, pies do play quite a role in the story!
 
Finished piece
After making several roughs, I was drawn to this concept:
concept sketch

When I was refining the sketch, I separately drew out the two figures.


Rosie, with a note for Al

Al, in his disguise
After, I tweeked the sketch by reworking the pies, adding the town, and some mountain/hills. I scanned all the drawings, then scaled and added the figures into the composition. I printed the re-worked concept at size I as going to be inking and painting in.
pencils

Using a make-shift light table I re-penciled the image on to a sheet of Bristol Smooth paper, and then inked it with micron pens.

inks
Then it was time to paint...
a progress picture

And here's how the coloring ended up, but I wasn't done yet. I felt the green was too strong so I decided to calm the shades of green down in Photoshop.
Adjustments in Photoshop

Finally, I added a subtle paper texture as well. I decided to keep the sky light and simple so that it wouldn't compete with the title of the production. I didn't win the contest, but what can you do right?

close up


Size: 11x17"
Media: Waterproof inks + watercolour + gouache + microns

That's it for now!