Friday, January 30, 2015

Freebie Friday - Cross-Stitch Cloth

Happy Friday!

These are textures from some dyed cross-stitch fabrics, like linen. Hope you enjoy!

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:

Holiday Inspired Paper Textures
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!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ice-Cream + Beer = Collective Arts Brewing - Series 4

Hi friends! I got some exciting news this week - that this little, quirky illustration below will soon appear on beer labels from Collective Arts Brewing, as part of their Series Four craft beer. Thanks so much Collective Arts! :)

Series Four is scheduled to be available to the public by mid-March 2015.
There will also be a Reveal Party at THE GARRISON, 1197 Dundas Street West in Toronto, on February 19, 7:30PM. I probably won't be able to make it, but if you're in the area, you should check it out! More details & RSVP here.

Check out all the other artists of Series Four via {this link}!
"I don't always eat ice-cream, but when I do - I choose my cone carefully."
Additional info:
- This illustration, along with a few of my other pieces, was part of one The Postcard Shows.
- Rendered with micron pen, waterproof inks, and white pencil.
- Prints + etc available on Society6 + RedBubble + DesignByHumans

Update - March 25th, 2014:

Recently, I received my sample bottle in the mail and I took a few photos to share. It looked wonderful in person!

The mini print of "Ice-Cream Cones" in the photos is a postcard print ordered from


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! :)

*Edit - decks are now being printed, and you can pre-order one right here at the Ostara Tarot Shop.

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!