Here’s a sneak peek of how I created the Mushroom Fest illustration.
I started by drawing all of the elements very loosely and quickly using black ink on cold-press watercolor paper. (pictured above)
After all of the ink dried, I went in the next day and started adding color using acrylic paint and gouache paint.(pictured below)
It took several days to complete the final piece which measures 9″ x 12″ inches. The color choices are mostly invented but the shapes are based on actual mushroom types. I like the technique of starting with a pen and ink base to paint over because it leaves a subtle boldness throughout the piece without looking too overpowering. I would say it creates an edgy but still friendly aesthetic.
Finally, after everything was painted to my satisfaction, I scanned the painting, dropped it into into Photoshop and moved the composition around so everything felt a little more balanced. And Tad Dah! It was done!
Forest clam dense and velvet soft you cling to the rough edge of a mighty companion is it an arrangement of convenience? Or perhaps, something more? How did you get up there? So high does the rest of your kind know where you are? Your Orange burns bright amidst this barren way.
Living in the city means limited space and most likely no yard. I come from a family of farmers and plant enthusiasts. In Honduras gardening is the norm in the countryside because each town is miles away from the nearest shopping center.
In the US farming is big business. We pay high prices for the convenience of not breaking our backs tilling the soil, planting each seed, and nurturing each plant to harvest. I am happy to see more and more everyday people like me carve out a little space in our tiny homes for our own gardens.
I went through a period of disconnect with gardening in my younger days but eventually our true nature circles back around to meet-up with us again. Gardening is a healing practice. There is no hurriedness in the work, a seed will sprout in its own time and sometimes not at all.
Our Garden Ship is a mysterious miracle. Here we are floating and rotating day after day. The grounds are dressed with more plants than we have explored and studied. When I was a kid nature was my play house. Without tv, books, radio or any other modern technology all I had for entertainment was the trees, the hills and the river.
Botany as a science is intriguing to me and more so because I grew up watching my mom grow 50 foot trees from a tiny seed. It is magic to me. Tending to a garden or simply a couple of plants can be soothing. Plants are living beings healing the very air we breathe. Isn’t that amazing?
I have found that to stay motivated I have to press pause and go somewhere outdoors amongst trees, dirt and bees. However, every time I have lived in a medium to large city the great outdoors were fairly inaccessible.
A car is necessary to drive far distances to reach the nearest park or preserve. A wild piece of land with nature growing freely beyond fences, landlords and fees is hard to come by near a city.
Did you know there are hardly any sidewalks in the city of Nashville, TN? Pedestrians have to walk next to the edge of the road, and walk past benches with advertisements cautioning drivers to look out for pedestrians.
Downtown has plenty of sidewalks, and some upperclass neighborhoods get some sidewalks but not the whole city. Since when is providing a safe stretch of land to go out for a walk only for some and not for everyone?
The pressure to be constantly interacting online and to self-promote daily as a freelancer gives me anxiety. I was a late bloomer when I discovered Instagram many years after it launched. I have been interacting for years now and although I love supporting the community, I can’t shake the feeling that it is a shiny distraction hindering my long-term growth.
So I am testing my theory for the next 7 months by removing myself from the Instagram realm to see what I experience because during the time when I didn’t know of it’s existence I created the largest body of work. Science and research are fascinating to me so I made myself the test subject.
My mind needs time to process everything I throw at it every second of the day. Time to reflect on what is a true priority. What goals do I want to devote my laser focus towards this year?
It has almost been a month since I uninstalled the social App and it does feel strange to not be constantly connected. I am surprised by how much more time there is to play with, it almost feels like going backwards in time. This freed up time is different, it is like walking into an empty room both silent and vulnerable. What I make in that time is invisible to everyone else which highlights three questions:
Why am I making this? why does it matter? Is this the best use of my limited time?
In this month’s time I have created two new paintings and in the process I used the extra pockets of time to experiment with new techniques for the sake of curiosity. In addition, I write more every day to improve my skills so I can tell clearer stories. In fact, this is the longest article I have ever written on my blog. A blog I actually started to pressure myself into practicing the art of writing.
Most of 2019 has been spent working on digital mediums. Learning new techniques using digital software and keeping my digital design skills sharp. But I have missed the feel of a pencil scratching the surface of a blank piece of paper.
The above painting was made using traditional materials. Gouache and Watercolor. Every time I look at it I am reminded of the tiny moments that came together to make this image. There is no going back once you start a watercolor painting. You have to commit or start all over again, and perhaps that is what I like about traditional media. The assertiveness it demands. That I had to just keep moving forward because the option to go back and erase was not available.