Thursday, February 10, 2011

Creative Process

My dear friend Ces asked me a little bit about the process I use in getting my pictures ready for printing on canvas.  If you've followed my blog for a bit you know I use colored pencils, indian ink, colored ink, and some applique flowers in my work.  When I finish a piece, then I have to decide what kind of border I want to put around it.  I was quite excited to learn from my Print shop that they can scan any paper, fabric, etc and digitally place it behind my work, thereby 'framing' it.  You can see the finished piece below.

This is probably not news to those of you that are super-graphic savy, but I have absolutely no idea how to do anything in photoshop, so I was really excited with this concept.

I found this piece of handmade paper in an art supply store and knew it would be a perfect background for my purple gal.

The finished scan is printed in Gicle on Canvas and gallery wrapped so it is ready to hang on the wall.  The super cool thing is the 'Matting' extends all the way around the edge to the back of the canvas!

The graphic designer I worked with was also able to insert a small border between my finished piece and the border to ofset it.  I think it really makes it stand out.

Love the hot pink border around this one!

The finished canvases are fairly large, but I can order them in a variety of sizes.  I can also have these printed on fine paper for someone that may want to frame it instead.  The canvases or prints can be shipped without being framed in a tube, making it that much easier to ship to a potential customer.

I have had several people suggest a card set of these too, so that is an idea to think about.

Just for fun, I printed each one of these on 4"X6" high gloss photo paper and then laminated them for the kids to use as bookmarks.  That's also a really great way for me to show someone my art without having to lug a canvas with me.

So figuring out how to finish these off has been a fun creative process for me!  Having a gallery interested in representing me is even better!

I know I love it when I get to share in the creative process of all of you wonderful artists.  I hope this was a fun way for you to see how my work evolves!



lissa said...

so you create your piece, scan it into the computer and then have it printed on canvas, right? that sounds like something I might like to do since all my work are digitally colored.

what size paper to you draw on? it looks like you put a lot of details in your drawings. I'm thinking having a bigger paper, would be easier to add the details, at least when I do it. I find I need to continue on another paper sometimes. it's not good to have it in so many pieces though.

I also like to know of your drawing process as well. there probably isn't one. for me, I draw and draw until I get something I like.

Julia Christie said...


I draw on a variety of paper sizes, but these were done on a 9x12 approx. sized piece. I used the same size paper for all of them in this series so the details and scale are similar. I often use a .005 pen for the detail work, so that allows me to do really fine lines, which I love! And I can go over the lines several times if I want to get a thicker look.

My drawing process starts with a sketch - I seem to always view my sketches as intended for a finished piece - I don't sketch very much without having a purpose. Usually I am inspired by an illustration I see online, on a blog I follow, or in a book, for the pose, and then I think about what the story behind this piece will be and start sketching.
I get the face sketched and hair roughed in and then add color to the eyes and face. If I can't get the face right, I don't bother to continue with that piece. As you know there is only so many times you can erase so I go very slowly with the face to minimize erasing.
If the face comes out well, the rest just usually flows and unfolds for me. Just love when that happens!

Hope that answers your questions. :-)


lissa said...

yes, that answers my question. I also have a similar pencil but I trend to press hard and erase much too much & sometimes has to abandon that piece to start another.

you sound like you already know what you want even before you begin to draw. I don't do as much thinking. the idea often comes after I have draw and only rarely before.

that's why I like doing series, at least there is already an idea. I like this series of yours - forgot what you call it - but they're beautiful works of art, so very lovely. said...

Just amazing Julia!! Just amazing :-) You are so truly gifted.......

Diane said...

What a brilliant idea--the added border really makes your ladies shine--and great idea about making cards from them.
Plus laminating them and taking them with you everywhere you go--an excellent way to show your art to anyone!

rachel awes said...

i am taken with the lady of the greeeeeen woods above...LOVE her! & the whole collection is inspired! wow. xo

Marlene said...

They are gorgeous Julia, I love the borders you had added, they do make the ladies stand out. Thank you for sharing your process.

Jennifer Noel Bower said...

These are beautiful, Julia! The borders really add a pop. Great that you have such a great print service.

Heather said...

I love how you shared your process. The borders do really make the ladies stand out! I love that. I love the size that they are, too. Oh i bet the originals are just gorgeous. all that detail! and those beautiful eyes....!!!

I do so think these would make amazing cards! I can totally see them in a shop like that packaged with beautiful envelopes....(i love stationery shops, can you tell..ha ha ha)
The bookmark is a great idea, too!

I hope that you are able to show your work in a gallery, that would be awesome!
I still would love to know where you are getting your giclee prints made. I would love to do that with one or two of my pieces!
enjoy your friday evening ! xxoo

Beth Niquette said...

Your work is so inspiring. I loved seeing the process of how you get to the finished work. What a talented lady you are!

Chris said...

Your girls are sooooo beautiful... I've just re-aquainted myself with coloured pencils (got some good ones for a change) and I am loving them... not quite at your stage of prettiness though. Fabulous work :D
Chris xx

Tammie said...

Hello Julia,
so wonderful to read about how you go about your pieces. the borders truly present your art in a beautiful way. I also no nothing about photoshop. lovely to watch you take step after step. thank you for sharing.

art2cee2 said...

Wow these are just gorgeous! So creative!

Millie said...

Oh gosh Julia, I hope I'm not going to upset anyone, but I actually prefer your beautiful work without a border. Just a visual thing for me I suspect.
Millie x