Category Archives: Birds

Sunrise Roosters the completed designs

In my last post I showed you  how I went about painting a colorful Bantam rooster. Now I can show you the final designs.

Why did we choose a square format?

Because initially we were thinking about square dessert plates; or paper tableware, or wall placques and graphics.

As we get interest from manufacturers of other products  we can reformat the designs to work on their products.

Initially it helps to have one or two products in mind. That gives a focus for you to work with when creating.

Voilà here are the four Sunrise Roosters.

Sunrise  Rooster Bantam

Sunrise
Bantam

Bantam is a very colorful Bantam Rooster

Morningside Rooster

Morningside Rooster

The Morningside Rooster is a Wyandote.

The Dorky Rooster

Peck’s Rooster

Peck’s Rooster is a Dorky.

Sunny Day Rooster

Sunny Day Rooster

Sunny Day is a Black and White Bantam.

In addition to dessert plates we can see these as a set of wall graphics; trivets and coasters. As time goes by and we get feedback from our clients I am sure that we will be able to envision the Sunrise collection as numerous other products.

Our fabric client liked our roosters and asked Dennis to do a repeat pattern using the background and stamps, but not the type. Dennis is the one who can do the repeats on the computer.  He worked closely with the design director at the company and together they came up with this final design for the repeat.

Sunrise Roosters repeat design for fabric

Sunrise Roosters repeat design for fabric

I could see this as a kitchen textile in dish towels, oven mits, potholders and apron.

Would love to hear what product ideas you have.

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Filed under Birds, Uncategorized

Watercolor lesson: Painting a Colorful Bantam Rooster

Sorry for the long silence. I haven’t posted in over a month. This wasn’t my intention. I got all involved in painting roosters for a new project.

But I am crowing again!

Consider this post a watercolor lesson as I show you step by step how I painted this very colorful rooster. I used my chinese brushes , my favorite 1/4 inch scrubber (my name), a few smaller brushes (see photo) and a new favorite brush that is squared off but also rounded (the black and tan handle)

It has a wonderful rich feeling, thicker than most flats with a rounded edge.

my favorite brushes at the moment

Some of my favorite brushes

Once I found my reference (after looking at many photos) I  did my drawing and was ready to begin the really fun part, the painting.; But first I found a diagram of the feather groupings which are very complicated in roosters. This was extremely helpful.Once I studied them I could go to town and just have fun.

Feather Diagram

Feather Diagram

I found a wonderfully colorful Bantam photo.I named him Chuck just to keep it personal.

A prize Bantam photo

Firs I laid down loose washes for some of the major feathers. I would love to see a rooster preening and curious as to how long it takes to do a good washing. LOL no pun intended!

 Washes

Washes

I added the head and some feather details and the lucious dark brown body feathers.

Details and delicious darks

Details and delicious darks

Took this stage a little further with more feather details and added some pastel. It was so much more fun to use the pastels with the watercolors. I can’t wait to add more mixed media to my painting.

Finessing

Finessing

Then for the finishing touches.

Voila

Voila

Rooster Palette

Rooster Palette

My palettes always have this look I call it messy. But that’s the way they always end up. Everyone has a different looking palette. It’s kind of like a thumb print!

I always have great company while I am painting. Louisa May is truly a painter’s Cat.

Painter's cat

Painter’s cat

The 4 rooster paintings (finalists) and the designs that Dennis and I came up with are now complete. My next post which is coming on the heels of this one (or the spurs!) will be out very soon.

And I have earned another feather in my cap!

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Filed under Amia, Bantam rooster, Birds, Evergreen, Manufacturers, Nature, roosters, Uncategorized, Watercolor, wildlife and birds

Takes two to make a peacock

I thought it would be interesting and perhaps helpful to see  how our new Peacock design came about. It is a good illustration of the process involved and how Dennis and I share the art.

A peacock is a spectacular bird and also has been very trendy in our market. So why not!

After I gathered reference I began to watercolor using my chinese brushes. I use them almost exclusively these days.

I painted the tail separately

I painted the tail separately

Just in case the tail didn’t come out right I painted it separately then added it to my bird.

I start to paint the peacock

Now I add the tail and paint the feathers

When I showed my peacock to dennis he liked everything but the tail. The design of the feathers was kind of hodgepodge. Too exacting for my way of watercoloring.

So I repainted the basic colors of the tail as well as one feather. I added the lower part of the body to the tail. Now I had a headless peacock.

And one feather

And one feather

In the meantime I had repainted the tail and where it attached to the body and the start of the neck. The original Head was still separate and then that got attached. A bit like surgery.

The new tail gets attached

We sliced off the head and I repainted the tail and the body up to where the neck began

The head got reattached and Dennis did a magnificent job of placing the feathers on the tail. We added type to the background and added blue poppies.

Dennis creates the pattern of the feathers

Dennis creates the pattern of the feathers

 Blue poppies that I had previously painted. And added type to the background.

The blue poppies

The blue poppies

Texture and color were added to the background and we both agreed that our Peacock was completed.

Finishing the background

Finishing the background

A feather in my cap
A feather in my cap- not a real one!

And one for Dennis too!

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Filed under Birds, peacock, Trends, Uncategorized, wildlife and birds

Working on a new project, Botanical Garden

Surtex is almost a month away.

But creating art continues until the last possible minute. There is nothing like facing a show to inspire creativity and productiveness.

I have been painting new flowers and birds for several weeks. And now I am finished except for painting backgrounds. Then I turn it over to Dennis and we sit in front of the computer and create the new designs. The inspiration this time are antique botanical floral and bird designs. I am doing an updated version working inthe loose watercolor style that I have been developing. I have had many sources of inspiration, including but not all, sumi e painting, Janet Rogers watercolor tutorials and my own way of putting thngs together.

Here are a few of the florals  that I am happy with.

The newest peony

The newest peony

Red Poppies

Red Poppies

Azalea

Azalea

Blue Poppies

Blue Poppies

I’ve painted about twelve different flowers. There are a few rejects.

I’ve done a number of birds to go with this style, but only like one so far. I’ll wait before I post it. Always good to wait a few days and then look again.

I thought that the Azaleas had gotten too heavy handed right after I finished painting. Two days later I looked and made a few alterations and thought “hmmmm these are nice,I like them.”

I hope to have at least one of the new designs called “Botanical Garden” to show here soon. In the meantime I have to come to terms with the birds and then a few insects. I’ll include a bee, butterfly and dragonfly. Maybe even a little grass hopper.

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Filed under Birds, Botanicals, Flowers, insects, Surtex, Trade Show, Uncategorized, Watercolor

Owls, Birds and Blossoms

Owls have started to come into and roost in our studio. We love having them here.

Dennis has just finished two new collections and the first is:

Our new owl collection

Our new owl collection

Four individual sweet and lovable owls , each offering a symbol of love, patriotism, sharing and romantic love.

patriotic owl

patriotic owl

Spring Greeting

Spring Greeting

Gift offering

Gift offering

Romantic Love

Romantic Love

Owls have become so important at this particular time because as my friend Suzanne put it so well, “We are in need of the qualities that Owls symbolize.”Of course the first quality that comes to mind is wisdom. The wise old owl. The more you get to know about then they care very well for their young. When tamed they are loveable and cuddly pets-friends. They are fiercely protective of their own. We welcome them as messengers of important changes to come in the world and our society. They also have very sharp vision, a quality that is very needed to have an optimistic view of what is in store for us.

Mama Owl and her owlet

Mama Owl and her owlet

In Tuesday 2 /26/13 on the front page of the NY Times Science Section is a very interesting article called “The Owl Comes into Its Own.” Definitely worth a read.

                           Patriotic Owls repeat
         Patriotic Owls repeat
Patriotic Owls in repeat

Patriotic Owls in repeat

The second Owl Collection is called “Patriotic Owls”.These are three of these guys who proudly brandish their patriotic symbols.

I am more interesting in a more realistic owl painting and will include them in my continuing series of Birds and Flowers.The bluebird and the Peony were painted before last Surtex. There was a lot of interest in them at the show but the question kept coming up, ” Are there more?” Manufacturers like to see at least 4 in a grouping. That spurred me on to continue and expand the collection.

First in the Bird and Blossom Series

First in the Bird and Blossom Series

The blossom half of the series

The blossom half of the series

I have sketched out and done some of the painting for 8 more pairs of Bird and Blossom. I definitely want to include at least one owl and a few holiday themes.

I can envision all the series on a variety of products. Just off the top of my head: Coasters and trivets; napkins; journals; childrens’ and crafters fabric (the patriotic owls) and childrens’ wall paper borders; wall graphics; totes and pillows to name some of them. I’ll be looking forward to showing these at Surtex in May. It’s coming closer so I am painting away.

Finch in Progress

Finch in Progress

I think I will thin this finch out. He looks a little too plump to me.

I'm painting away till Surtex

I’m painting away till Surtex

Happy with our imaginary aviary

Happy with our imaginary aviary

Happy with the chickadee.

Well In my minds eye I see our studio becoming an imaginary aviary filled with small singing birds and owls.

I love it but I don’t think our cats do.

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Filed under Birds, Newspapers, NY Times Science Section, Owls, Uncategorized