Gifts and Greeting Cards for Bird WatchersI have been working on making some ceramic mugs and greeting cards for bird watchers. I thought you would enjoy a blog post describing how the development process works.
I decided the range would be centred on the birds that visit the bird table. I started by making pencil studies of birds. This is a example of a page of pencil drawings of Great Tits. I research the images using videos and photographs, but once I have made a few drawings I get a feeling for the bird and I can invent additional poses. The pencil drawings are then scanned and made into digital images
After the drawings are digitalised the drawings can be rearranged and coloured. Modern software packages like Photoshop and Corel Painter have very sophisticated digital painting brushes that mimic the ways real brushes work. The digital painting is done on a big flat screen. There are hundreds of different brushes to choose from. Each brush has its own characteristics. For instance the digital paint can be thick or watery, it can react as if it is being painted on to a textured paper and the colours can mix with paints that are already laid down. It this case I have used a translucent yellows and bluey, greening greys. It only takes a few minute to paint the basic colours on all the images. I now have a small library of great tits in different poses
I want to make a design for a mug of the Great Tits in a alder tree. I have a wrap around layout for a mug.
The big advantage of painting digitally is that the paints are on different layers that can be switched on and off. In this case I have a layer for the birds, a layer for the branches and a layer for the background. I paint the branches using digital brushes and drop the images of the birds on top of the branches
I also add more layers of paint to give the birds more body.
and on another layer add some background blue that goes behind the branches and birds
I then print out the design and wrap it around mug to get a visual of how the item will look after it has been manufactured.
The big advantage of digital painting is that we can change layer. For instance when I want to make a card with the same subject matter I change the backgrounds, drag the images around to fit a portrait format, move and resize the birds and add details.
Each of the bird cards will include an summary on the back of the card. My final job is to do some research on the internet looking for interest information about the birds. This card was released in July 2019.