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Posts Tagged ‘Corel Painter’

To OFF I go…

August 12th, 2010

This weekend is the Ottawa Folk Festival, and I’m a little more excited about it than in past years… that’s because I’ve been working fiendishly on the event’s t-shirt and program design! I can’t wait to see all the volunteers and staff wearing the duds (sneak peek here, courtesy of Ming Wu :) — plus there’ll also be merch tees being sold.

This is the final t-shirt design:

I’ve shown it on a turquoise background because that’s what the women’s tees will look like (the unisex tees will be heather grey, and the kids’ tees will be red).

They asked me to come up with a design that was clearly music-based, funky, community- and nature-oriented, and not the typical banjo or guitar imagery… so I came up with this Seussian fellow and his critter bandmates.

Behind the scenes, my process went a little like this…

After a few sketches on paper, I did up a rough illustration in Corel Painter (as always, on my trusty Cintiq):

I brought the graphic into Adobe Illustrator, did a “Live Trace”, then cleaned things up a little; that’s what I presented for my first round of mock ups. For the next round, I went back to do a more complete drawing, again in Painter:

And again, I brought it into Illustrator to vectorize and clean it up, plus I added the text. Apparently, the woodpecker on the keys was a big hit at the OFF office :)

As for the program, I was able to use a lot of different elements from the t-shirt illustration throughout. Here’s the cover and a sample two-page spread looks like:

It’s been tons of fun to work on (though admittedly hectic!) — and I am so grateful to have been asked to do it.

Here’s a funny thing: I started up m chen wears a couple of years ago because I wanted to do more illustration. And as a direct result of doing these crazy t-shirts, I have been getting more creative work in my graphic design day-job. I never knew that my side gig would end up feeding my main gig! This particular project came about because one of the OFF staff had seen my shirts.

Just more proof that if there’s something you really love to do, then do it — and it might just grow into something bigger.

horn tootin', m chen wears, music , , , , ,

Three cheers for the holidayification of Tarts ‘n’ Crafts

October 25th, 2009

Cheer 1:

Earlier this year, I designed a new poster for Ladyfest Ottawa’s 2009 craft sales, called Tarts ‘n’ Crafts. They recently asked me to rejig the look for the upcoming holiday event, using more festive colours and incorporating falling snow. Here’s the web version of the updated poster:

I played around with actual six-sided snowflakes and even looked around for Photoshop brushstrokes, but since the original design was already so detailed, I thought I should go with less literal elements — and went with just the suggestion of flakes, blurs and shapes. The white specks and details were all done in Corel Painter on my Wacom Cintiq (as was the “XO” illustration). Closer up:

As with the initial design, this was a really fun project (I think that every time I get to use the tablet ;).

Cheer 2:

One other update I had to make was to add the logo of the Ten Oaks Project, the beneficiary of the event. As a complete fluke, I’d actually done the design of the Ten Oaks logo almost exactly a year ago; I tell you, Ottawa is a tiny town. Here’s a closer-up look at the logo:

Cheer 3:

Helping out with the poster doesn’t mean I don’t still have to apply and sweat over whether or not I make it into this show. This time around, they got three times the number of applications as there are spots. So I’m happy and very relieved to say that… I got in. Woohoo!

Event details:
- Ladyfest Tarts ‘n’ Crafts Holiday Sale: Sat. Dec. 5th from 10 am – 5pm at the Jack Purcell Community Centre (320 Jack Purcell Lane, Ottawa); $2 admission (proceeds to support women in the Ottawa Arts Community)

Drop by and say hello if you’re in town! This’ll be a terrific event with plenty of amazing DIY gift ideas… If I looked particularly exhausted that day, it’ll be largely due to the fact that the event is exactly one week after my wedding! Hooo boy.

Are YOU doing any upcoming craft shows? Are you ready???

horn tootin', m chen wears , , , , , , ,

It’s a jungle in here…

April 1st, 2009

I would love to hang out with this little guy…

So a few people have asked me how I go about doing an illustration, and I thought I’d show a basic step-by-step of a recent project I worked on — inspired by my high school friend Shelley, who wanted a jungle illustration for her newborn daughter’s nursery.

Yes, I do some old-school sketching with pen and paper, but this is usually only when I brainstorm late at night. I always do the actual illustrations digitally; I haven’t scanned doodles in years. So for this project, I put down this layer of sketched outlines first:

To do this, I used my new Cintiq (which I’m sure some of you are tired of hearing me rave about!) so it was just a matter of putting pen to screen. For this illustration, I worked solely with Corel Painter — which is amazing in tandem with Wacom pens and tablets; a wide array of lifelike media, paper textures, amazing pen tilt and pressure sensitivity… It plain rocks.

Next, I laid down some general background colours:

Like other graphics programs, Painter has layers and I use them as I build up the levels of background to foreground. Next came the general colouring of the rest of the illustration, including the animals:

And then come all the details, highlights, and beefing up some of the outlines… and ta-daaahhh:

The graphic at the very top of this post is a close-up of the monkey, and shows the texture of the drawing and lines.

The “Welcome to the Jungle” illustration is at the giclée printers as I type, and I should have the final 8″ x 10″ prints next week. Of course, I was so freakin’ excited about these guys that I already have the print listed in my shop, ready to be snapped up and hung on nurseries all around the world!

You can see all my giclée prints here.

etsy.com, general rambling , , , , , , ,

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