September and New Things

September is my birth month. Every year, I think that it should be the time I start something new and it often happens that I don't. It could be because I do that thing of trying something new at other times of the year. Admittedly, the new things I talk about all have to do with art or crafting or something I came across in Skillshare.

The newest thing for me is learning all I can about using Illustrator more efficiently. I'm no stranger to Illustrator. I began experimenting with it all the way back in 2005, I think. It's come a long way since then as I have but now that there are people who share their knowledge and expertise, I'm learning better ways of using the features to my advantage.

I still use Photoshop for illustrations. In fact, one of my current projects is another collaboration with Laurel Heger and Fox and Rabbit. We've had four collaborations, three of which are Fox and Rabbit stories. The third book is in the works and I've used Photoshop for all the illustrations.

Fox and Rabbit Promo Poster
Fox and Rabbit Promo Poster

Another current project is a set of three posters for a restaurant in Manila. Because of the size of the posters as well as the illustration style that was requested, I decided Illustrator would be a better choice.

The posters are to be line drawings in the style of Al Hirschfeld. I'm a huge fan of Hirschfeld but I never thought I'd be putting in so much time just looking at all his work over and over again to get the feel of the style. Thank goodness I'm not required to put in faces of actual people (except for one or two here and there).

The posters also have to have some color. I could do the coloring in Photoshop then bring it into Illustrator and have Illustrator trace and vectorize everything. I could also just use Illustrator but I wanted a watercolor-like effect. This led to YouTube searches and lots of trial and error sessions. The artists on YouTube make everything look effortless and it doesn't help that the ones I found were really time-lapse videos.

Anyway, I must have done things right because the first poster was approved with just a few, very minor changes. I'll be moving forward with the other two and one of them will be the restaurant kitchen scene! I can't wait to do that one.

I'm not able to share the illustration here--it's still under wraps.

Meanwhile, I have another new thing that's in the works. My Paper With Everything blog has been neglected. I kept getting comments from spammers so for a while, I made the blog private. Then I started receiving a few requests for how-tos so I thought I'd use that blog mainly for that purpose.

I'm not sure if it'll get any traction, but it's always worth a try. It'll be my new big thing for the year!

P.S. If you haven't met Fox and Rabbit yet, here's a link to Fox and Rabbit's Cranberry Surprise. Full disclosure, it's an affiliate link (I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites).


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