Add to Technorati Favorites

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Purple Hoodie: 2009.12.30

Purple Hoodie: 2009.12.30, originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

Magic Brushes on my iThing.
15 minutes.
From imagination.

We had a wonderful day visiting friends in the "country", a couple hours from home, so I didn't have time to work on the socks. Instead a quickie in Magic Brushes on my iThing.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Sock: 2009.12.29

One Sock: 2009.12.29, originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

Pencil/graphite and fibracolor magic markers on paper.
~5 X 6 inches
~ 2 hours total.
Freehand from a photograph of the fabulous socks Gretchen knit for me. (See full explanation here.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

OK, This is Going to Take More Than the Hour I Had Tonight: 2009.12.28

Pencil/graphite and fibracolor magic markers on paper.
~ 5 X 6 inches.
Freehand from a photo.
Took an hour to take the photo, make the pencil drawing, and start the color.

Although I don't knit, naturally I love yarn since it comes in fabulous colors! Therefore I feel especially fortunate to have friends and family who not only knit for me - they use color in a way that really pleases me.

Most notably my Aunt Dottie has made my partner and I many hats & scarves and a fantastic sweater; my friend Gillian knit mismatched fingerless gloves for me, and most recently, my friend Gretchen knit these incredible socks for me.

The socks were made with two different yarns that were died such that they change colors as you go; we went to the store and picked them out together. Both yarns went into each sock, but she switched which role each was playing so the socks do not "match".

So, in addition to my thank you to Gretchen for the socks, I also thank the yarn makers and pattern designers.

I've been wanting to do a drawing of these ever since she gave them to me, probably a couple months ago. Once the markers showed up, I realized what I had been waiting for.

Although you can 'easily' pick from 'millions' of colors when working digitally, in fact it's a real interruption every time you switch. And, while you are picking a new color, you can no longer see your drawing. I never thought about that before.

For this drawing, I'm switchings colors - well, every few stitches. I think it's much easier to keep swapping colors using the marker set and color chart, than it would be going back and forth to a color wheel.

Last thought about this - wide angle lens makes this great distortion where it looks like I must be holding up a blanket and not just socks - the better to enjoy the colors!

OK, to bed!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Vellum and Color - Final: 2009.12.27

Vellum and Brushes Apps on my iThing, Photoshop on my Mac.
40 - 60 minutes.
Freehand from a photo.

Those not interested in technical details need read no further!

Rosanne Lambert and I were discussing how to get color behind a Vellum drawing, and I decided to try out my theories.

1. I drew a picture in Vellum and exported.
2. I imported to Brushes and painted in color on a separate layer. I also used very transparent colors just in case the later steps didn't work, but they did.
3. I exported two images from Brushes - one with the color and one the original Vellum drawing. This was important because Brushes slightly resizes and when I used the original original export from Vellum, it didn't work. So, to repeat - you need to export the uncolored Vellum drawing from Brushes as well as the colored one.
4. Opened both pics in Photoshop on my mac.
5. On the uncolored Vellum drawing I:
a. changed it to greyscale
b. selected color range -> highlights
c. inverted selection
d. copied
6. On the colored version, I pasted what I had just copied

It might not be necessary to change to grey scale but it made the selecting alot easier. Hmm... you could probably save the selection, then undo the change to greyscale, reload the selection and then copy, if you think changing to greyscale changed Vellum's graphite tones too much.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Tree Crosses the Road: 2009.12.26

Fibracolor markers over a print of yesterday's pencil drawing.
About an hour.
~5 X 7 inches.
Freehand from a photo.

But why did the tree cross the road?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

On the Path By Sausal Creek (I Haven't Been There in Awhile: 2009.12.25

Graphite/pencil on paper. OK, so with pencil you can erase. But, um, there's no unerase! (I've been in digitalland too long!)
40 minutes.
Freehand from a photo.

Preparatory to a magic marker drawing with the new set, hopefully tomorrow.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It Was Me & the Doggie Diner Heads: 2009.12.24

Pen and fibracolor markers on paper.
Freehand from a photo.
30-45 minutes.
~5 X 7 inches

This one's for AK & AQ - thanks for the photo and the markers, respectively.

Well despite cynicism about the holidaze, on christmas eve a package arrived for me from one of my oldest friends: a set of 100 high quality colored markers - an apparent duplicate of her son's set which I've always not so secretly coveted! What better present than that for someone who likes to draw?! So, first daily portrait not done on my iThing in months.

You know... you can't erase that stuff. Weird :)

The Doggie Diner Heads are real - they even have their own group:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All Dressed Up For The Holidays: 2009.12.23

(But happily not going anywhere)
Collagees App on my iThing.
From a previous drawing.
40 - 60 minutes.

Once again, all the brushes are holiday-themed clipart and objects, including reindeer for the face, santas for the hat's fur, and christmas trees for the shirt.

Icons of Christmas: 2009.12.22

Icons of Christmas: 2009.12.22, originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

Collageees App on my iThing
Several sessions over the day.
From imagination.

Happy Holidays to anyone and everyone who happens to be celebrating a holiday at this time of year. We don't celebrate Christmas but it's hard to avoid the visual impact of Christmas in our culture. So, as I titled my Christmas piece last year, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

Everything here was drawn with christmas clipart - christmas ornaments and lights for hair and background, santas for the face and shirt, christmas trees for the glasses, reindeer for the hair, tinsel for the nose, christmas ornaments again for eyes and mouth.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh!: 2009.12.21

Oh!: 2009.12.21, originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

Collagees App on my iThing
~10 minutes (no new brushes)
From imagination

Fuzzy Sweater: 2009.12.20

Fuzzy Sweater: 2009.12.20, originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

Collageees on iThing
About 30 - 40 minutes (maybe only 1 new brush)
From imagination.

Love how the sweater came out, not so happy about my sourpuss mouth. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brushes for Nothing and Texture for Free - I'm Playing with Collageee: 2009.12.19

Mmm... except it's Collageees, and it's not free, it's $1.99. Couldn't resist the converted Dire Straits song lyrics though.

Collagees App on my iThing.
40 minutes
Directly from a previous drawing.
Brushes sampled from a papercut with digital spinart over it, a monoprint, other artwork.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Julia Hitchcock: 2009.12.18

Julia Hitchcock: 2009.12.18, originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

Mmm... rainbow scratch paper in the physical world and Collageees, Brushes, & NPTR Apps on my iThing.
Directly from a previous drawing.
20 minutes.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Say, I Just Noticed... Where's My Ear?: 2009.12.17

Some time ago, I made this series of drawings of staircases using rainbow scratch paper designed, of course, for children. Recently I sampled from one of those drawings (I no longer remember which one) to make a custom brush using the Collageees App on my iThing. I drew with the brush I made in Collageees and then exported to Brushes to complete it, largely because Brushes has an Eraser (hint hint).

Other than lacking an eraser, which I'm sure must be coming in the next version (hint hint) Collageees is a very fun, very cool, very unique drawing App which allows you to create adjustable brushes by sampling from the photos on your iThing. If (and only if) you like alot of control over what you draw with, like to experiment with drawing different kinds of lines and textures, and tend to spend time adjusting your brushes to exactly how you want them, I recommend this App. If, however, you just want to select a color and start to draw, this App is not for you.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2009.12.16 Insert-A-Face

2009.12.16 Insert-A-Face (1), originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

Brushes (exterior) and Colortilt (face) Apps on my iThing.

As Susan Murtaugh so brilliantly suggested when I first posted this with a 'blank' face, I've spent the evening swapping different faces in and out, and have uploaded my five favorites to flickr. Click on this one to get to flickr and see them all.

Thank you to Brushes for having layers, which made swapping faces easy. Brushes wishlist: I would like to be able to move and resize when I load a photo into a layer. Since that can't currently be done, these are just however they lined up when loaded in.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Face of Faces: 2009.12.15

My Face of Faces: 2009.12.15, originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

Collagees App on my iThing (coming soon to an App Store near you)
From imagination.

This was made entirely with a brush created by sampling my face from a photo. Changing the size, rotation and spacing of the brush created the slightly different colors and textures. You can best see the face by going to large size and looking at the background and the ends of strokes.

Gwen John's Grays (Not Mine): 2009.12.14

Collagee App (available soon in an app store near you) on my iThing.
Directly from a photo.
More than an hour creating brushes, another 40-60 minutes drawing.

The fingerpainting a week on an assigned subject/artist group on flickr, got me looking more closely at the work of Gwen John. Instead of trying for her style, I've been admiring her palette. It's very different than my usual screaming vibrant colors but there's an awful lot of subtle variety in all those warm and cool grey brown neutral tones.

This was made entirely in Collagee using brushes I created by sampling color from a jpg of Gwen John's "Young Woman Holding a Black Cat".

I'm pretty satisfied with this - more realistic than usual for me but I like the tones and the pastel effect.

This is part of my Daily Portrait Project, in which I make a non-photographic image of myself every day and post it on the web. This series of self-portraits can be viewed in it's entirety at

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pipe Cleaner Glasses: 2009.12.13

Collagee App (available soon in an app store near you) on my iThing.
From imagination.
30-40 minutes, including making brushes.

My father smoked a pipe, and it was one of the pleasures of childhood to get to play with his actual pipe cleaners, even though they did not come in all the great colors of the ones sold as toys. We had those, too, but at home - while generally dad had real pipe cleaners with him when we were out and about. Certainly made lots of funny glasses with both kinds as a kid, and that's what this reminded me of.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Curly Wig, Tweed Shirt: 2009.12.12

Collagees App (beta) on my iThing
From imagination
The unique thing about this App is that you make your own brushes. Since I don't have a palette of favorite brushes yet, I have to stop drawing to make new brushes periodically, so it's pretty hard to say how long it takes to do the actual drawings. The App has lots of potential, I'm still learning my way around it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Keep Thinking I Left Something Out: 2009.12.11

Brushes App on my iThing
Directly from a photo
20-40 minutes

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cool, Dude, I Can See My Reflection; 2009.12.10

Brushes and Nptr on my iThing
From imagination
15 munutes

As SedonaNan noted recently, the realism comes and goes.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Brushes!: 2009.12.09

2009.12.09 New Brushes!, originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

(I know I don't look happy about it, but I am!)

Brushes App on my iThing.
Painted on top of a previous line drawing.
Several sessions over the course of the day, fooling around with the new brushes and controls.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pink & Green Portrait: 2009.12.08

Kids Paint App on my iThing (OK, I fixed one little stroke in Brushes, but the rest is Kid's Paint.)
From an existing black & white drawing.
20 minutes.

Inspiration left me when it came time for a title - suggestions welcome.

Unbridled Color: 2009.12.07

Unbridled Color: 2009.12.07, originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

KidsPaint and (very briefly) Brushes Apps on my iThing.
20-30 minutes.
From imagination.

I was looking at Shohei's photostream on Flickr just before I did this and I think it unconsciously influenced me.

KidsPaint is a fun app which randomly changes line thickness and color every time you lift your finger. You get alot of color without effort but sometimes you have to keep drawing a line over and over until you get something you can use. I save often when I use it as you never know when some thick swath of color will wipe out an eyeball or something (there's no undo).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Staring at the Screen: 2009.12.06

and making odd gestures with my hands...

Vellum app on my iThing.
Freehand from a photo.
10 minutes.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Full Color Pollack Portrait: 2009.12.05

Jackson Pollack App on my iThing.
From imagination.
20-30 minutes.

I do love the challenge of trying to control this app.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Belly (My View): 2009.12.04

Vellum App on iThing
2 minutes (but I did at least half a dozen tries)
From life.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Long Day...: 2009.12.03

Long Day...: 2009.12.03, originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

Vellum App on my iThing.
10-15 minutes.
Freehand from photo.

Guess I'm on a Vellum kick!

Zip Up!: 2009.12.02

Zip Up!: 2009.12.02, originally uploaded by Julia Kay.

Vellum App on my iThing
10-15 minutes
Freehand from a photo.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How My Laptop Sees Me: 2009.12.01

Vellum App on my iThing with some clean-up in Photoshop.
Freehand from a photo.
30-40 minutes - mostly fooling with the lower part of the hand and then raising one eye.

Literally how my computer sees me - drawn from a photo taken with the built-in video camera. Actually all these Vellum drawings this week were done that way, but in this case, the camera caught me considering my backlog of email rather than consciously posing.

2009.11.30 Phooey, The Router's Not Working

Vellum App (ink mode) on my iThing.
From a photo.
~10 minutes.

Actually, the DSL provider was doing scheduled maintenance, just when it was time for me to post last night... so here's yesterday's drawing a day late.