Monday, January 19, 2015

"We Have Always Lived in the Castle", Shirley Jackson

I recently finished reading a collection of short stories by Shirley Jackson which included "We have Always Lived in the Castle". I wanted to read "The Lottery" which I also enjoyed but the imagery from this story haunted me. Its a strange story about a family devastated by a terrible event. The two sisters in the story are just barely holding onto their lives.  Anyway, I would highly recommend Shirley Jackson's work.  The piece below is loosely based on that story.

I've been wanting to show some of my process and my beginning sketches are fairly rough. Sometimes I will make several sketches in sketchbooks and on the computer.  At this point I just want to get my ideas down so I don't loose them.

   Then I will scan the image (at 300 dpi, although at this rough state it doesn't really matter) and start thinking about color, value, and composition a little more.  I want to add more detail but I need to get things sorted out first.

I do a lot of thinking, observing and sketching, studying image of houses, wheelchairs, anything I might want to include in the image.  I look at images online, in art history books, anywhere.  I have found that I can look at many different images combining parts and create something unique. 
Then I use those sketches to create the more refined image.  

Working in painter or Photoshop, I will build the image up from a loose rough painting to a more complete image.  I've been meaning to do value studies on the computer with my work, I think it could help speed up my process. With this image I converted the early image to grey in Photoshop to check the values I had created. It was pretty interesting and made me feel more secure with the color choices I was making.
As you can see I made lots of changes to the image from the initial sketch.  The spacing of the figures in the original sketch didn't quite work logically so I opened it up to show the girl fleeing the scene more clearly. I created this image in Painter 2015 using as few layers as possible, flattening as I went. I think working in just one or two layers at a time, keeps the process similar to traditional painting.
copyright 2015 Teresa Wiles

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Year, New Work! But first...

This year I'm making an effort to post more to my blog so, with that in mind here's a look at things I've been working on. I did make a holiday illustration but unfortunately I didn't get it out to anyone. I wasn't that happy with the way it turned out and thought I could do better.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I love this time of year. The leaves are changing, the light is pretty and the air is crisp.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Working on my finished pieces for my book as part of the SCBWI Picture Book Dummy Challenge. Finally finished the sketches and have chosen the two I will finish.  Looking forward to the agent critique.
I'm planning to complete them on the computer. I usually work in Photoshop but for this project I think I'll work in Painter X3, I recently bought the program and have been practicing with the brushes.  I like the look of painter's brushes, they're closer in appearance to real brushes.  The challenge has been navigating the many settings for each brush. It's been quite a challenge.
Yesterday I worked a couple of postcard ideas. Here's one of them. I'm still not completely happy with the shadow so I may add a background later.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

copyright 2014 Teresa Wiles

It has been a long time since my last posting but that doesn't mean I've been lounging around.  
This piece is my most recent attempt to practice working with Photoshop.  I've been trying to get the natural look of watercolor with the Wacom tablet.  I'm fairly pleased with this result although I find I have to create the image using traditional mediums first then scan it into Photoshop and paint.  The benefit of using Photoshop is how easy it is to make corrections.  The problem is that the brushes seem to look unnatural and even with the tablet I find I can't get quite the sensitivity of line that I can with traditional materials.  I'm hoping with practice I can resolve this issue.  because before I would need to start over several time to get the look I am going for.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Work

"Flying with Crows"  is my latest illustration.  With this piece I wanted to experiment with an exaggerated perspective hoping to create a sense of flying for the viewer.