Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Watercolor Postcards and Postcrossing

Recently two new interests careened into eachother serendipitously! First, I've gotten into watercolor and I LOVE it. It's been so much fun to play and learn. I have a long way to go, but I'm enjoying myself.

The second is I've gotten into Postcrossing. As you may know, I feel like an armchair globe trotter. While too poor to go to exotic locations, I instead read about them and adore them from a distance. I am also a huge hispanophile, I have a boundless interest in all countries that speak Spanish. For those who don't know, check out postcrossing.com. Basically you register for free, build a profile about you and your interests, then you make the daring jump to send a postcard. The website looks in its database for someone who has just sent a postcard and gives you their address. You mail off a postcard, and when it arrives your recipient registers it. Upon registering it, someone will then receive your address and send you one back. It's a bit addicting!

So how do these two things cross paths? Well at Emerald City Comicon a month ago, I saw someone doing sketches on watercolor postcard paper! Ding! That metaphorical light bulb went off! I can make my own postcards as long as the illustration paper is thick enough for a journey across the world. Thats when I looked at google, and stumbled on postcard exchanges. I knew something like this might exist, and lo and behold it did.

Now not all people may enjoy my watercolor works, so I have searched my current city and my hometown for postcards. This is a ridiculous challenge! Only one Walgreens had postcards! What poppycock! At least they were .25 a postcard. The other postcards I found at two sister oddity novelty shops, and those postcards were .85 a pop. Yeesh!! I even went to Barnes and Noble, who had two postcard box sets of 100 James Bond and Star Wars, but nothing else. I didn't really want 100 various postcards related to those subjects. I also went to Hallmark in the mall, you know, the card store. They had ZERO postcards. How stupid.
I'll keep my eyeballs open, but postcards are getting rare these days, unless you're in a touristy spot. While in Seattle I saw a bajillion. But poor Spokane and Tri Cities lack the tourism I suppose. Had I known I was going to go all out on postcrossing, I would have bought a ton of postcards while there. I actually did buy a few while there for family, but that's it.

Well, this is an art blog, I'm sure you're tired of my rambles at 5am, so here are my current watercolor postcards:

The odd one with the meals was for a girl in China who was interested in food from around the world. So I illustrated an ideal breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the US. The redhead is actually a portrait of the postcard recipient. I wasn't sure what to draw for her, and generally people like portraits. The brown silhouette is actually done on chipboard (looks like heavy brown paper sack paper). The last photo is of my rubber stamp I use to magically turn my 4x6 paintings into "postcards." There honestly is no magic here. I could have just as easily drawn a separator line to divide the message and address, and ruled out some address lines.

The post office has no real regulations on what can be a postcard, but anything larger than 4x6 may need a standard stamp instead of a cheaper postcard stamp. Also, an international postcard needs $1.10 postage. I spray the front and back of the cards with a matte acrylic sealed to seal the paper from any water mishaps from damaging the card.
That's about the gist of postcard making. I hope you try it. Right now, besides postcrossers, I've started mailing my grandmother a weekly illustrated postcard. It drives me crazy that I didn't think of this twenty plus years ago. I could have made this a tradition for all my grandparents if I was smart enough as a kid. At least I'm doing it now. I'm also very much considering turning this into a project for my future children. I could have even a toddler scribble scrabble on the postcard art side with crayons. I can envision my parents with photo albums of postcards my child's correspondences. It would be quite the treasure indeed.

One last thought. Those with iPhones or iPads (not sure if android has this yet), there is an app called Postcardly. I think you can use their site directly as well at a computer. Basically you upload a photo, type a message and address, and they will print it and mail of your own personal postcard. As a digital illustrator, I may have to make some use of this besides the common realm of photos. I sent one postcard to a good friend whom I've not seen in about six months. I sent a postcard of a photo I took at EMP in Seattle. They had an amazing Film Horror exhibit, and I used a photo of Jason's mask and machete props from Friday the 13th.

Location:W Sylvester St,Pasco,United States

Monday, March 25, 2013

Painting Process: Princess Peach

Hello everyone! I just wanted to share my photo progression of Princess Peach to you all. I took these photos because I was working with a client on the other side of the state, she prepaid, so I wanted too keep her up to date on my progress.

This project took two weeks, and it went fairly well. The worst part was blending the skin time for some reason. She also owns my Mario portrait, she bought it at Emerald City Comicon four weeks back In Seattle.

Here's the original Mario, done in a classic animate style:

My concept art for the matching Princess Peach:

Prussian Blue background. I do this first just because it makes me feel like I'm already half done.

Started the crown and body:

While I coated over the eyes to try to get an even blended skin tone:

Small details and cleanup:

I didn't like the pinkish skin, so I redid it.


Now it's time for a new commission! I'm always available, feel free to contact me on prices!