New scrapkit: religious Easter.

27 03 2012

Katerina, Lisa and I thought it would be a good idea to put together a religious themed Easter/Pesach kit for those people who enjoy the religious and spiritual meaning of this season. So here it is! I can say that it was a very nice experience to work on it, and I think Katerina will agree, I enjoyed researching for options to include. I hope I did justice to the Pesach elements! This scrapkit comes with 12 Backgrounds, 24 Elements and 5 frames. Lisa did a beautiful job with the backgrounds, they are simple and peaceful, so fitting for this season!

Easter/Pesach kit for sale on


Easter Eggstravaganza, a scrapkit for this spring

23 03 2012

Celebrating the beginning of spring and getting ready for Easter, the artists at PSP tubes Stop put together this gorgeous scrapkit with an amazing amount of elements for you to play. This humongous kit includes 100 elements, 13 Backgrounds, 8 Frames and 2 Animations. Participating artists are Mitzi Sato-Wuiff, Joanna Bromley, Kim Turner, Jenny Heidewald, Lisa Cree and me.

Easter Eggstravaganza scrapkit available at

I did have some trouble with this kit since I recently upgraded from Photoshop 7 to CS5 and it seems that some things got messed up somewhere between the upgrade, the emailing of the art or something. Fortunately, Lisa was super diligent at pointing out the glitches and I could rework the images to make them more suitable. Phew! That was a lot of work!

And of course, I did my own take on the tubes just for fun.

A window into Easter.

Expect a new kit soon!!

Shamrock Faeries: Experimenting with different techniques

13 03 2012

One of the things that I always feel I need to improve is values. Not only I think this but it has been brought to my attention by numerous great artists that I consider my mentors in a way, as Chris Malidore or Karyn Lewis Bonfiglio, and each time they mention it I have to agree completely with them. This it not to say that I don’t feel I have improved much over the years, I have been putting a lot of work into it and I think it shows if you compare my work when I just got started showing my work around the interwebz.

Many great artists, as Henning Ludvigsen work with a technique that involves first working the image in grayscale and solve the values in that phase, and then lay color on top of it. This way the image is strong first and then you can worry about color once you have no worries about the foundation of values, which is what basically makes a good painting. I have seen this technique used over and again and I have tried it a few times unsuccessfully. Somehow the idea of repainting the whole thing in color once you had painted it in grayscale eluded me, how would this be logical at all? How do you keep the underlying values?

As many times happens to me I finally got it by looking at tutorials for the umpteenth time and I realized that you do not cover what has already been painted completely. You use the transparent layers that Photoshop lets you use for you to keep the values below. I wish I remembered who made the tut that made me understand this, I remember she used the base values layer, then an overlay layer for defining light sources and general mood, and then a multiply layer to finish up details with a normal layer. So I decided to try my hand at it doing a Saint Patrick’s themed image.

The thing is that I get terribly bored doing this. What I actually love is the process of painting, and while I have to give you that the values of this little piece are rather good for me, the process itself was rather painful and totally not worth it. By the time I was done sort of refining the base layer I was so ready to be done with it! I kept working with the following transparent layers on top but my heart was not in it anymore, as you can tell. I guess that I will have to keep using the Saturation layer to check the values every once in a while when I paint straight in color, which is what I really enjoy doing, because if I cannot enjoy it, what is the point?

Have you tried this technique before? Is there anything I am missing?

Goddess of Fire Creation.

1 03 2012

In the series of Goddesses of Creation, This one was probably the easiest one, I was inspired, the mood was right, everything worked out really well and out she came. I decided to use a background of volcanoes, but because I had not been to the big island of Hawai’i I had no references for this, so I turned to the internet for some inspiration. I tried to keep all the references related to Hawai’i to keep the theme consistent along the whole series…. as you can see, I do use reference in abundance!

Volcanoes references

I also browsed for Pele’s images so as to get an idea of what is the general feeling of people’s imagery when it comes to a fire Goddess. It became quite evident that a red flowers haku lei would be a good idea to incorporate.

Pele, pose and light references.

My idea was to have a palette dominated by reds and blacks, originally I had thought of a dark gray sky, but I also wanted to try a redder approach, which was preferred by David and Mamiko, so I added some green (the complement of red) to push the image of the Goddess forward and separate her from the background. This also would give me an excuse to use some greenish highlights in the predominantly red figure, which always works well.

Fast color test.

Defining the background

As an artist that receives most commissions as tattoos, I normally don’t do a lot of backgrounds so it was interesting to work on adding depth to the image by allowing the far background to remain unrefined and work the way up to the foreground in increasing detailing and saturation. After I was done with her I tried adding shadows under the dress to make it separate from the land, but the volcanic soil was so dark that it didn’t quite work. That is when I thought of her body actually irradiating fiery light from under her gown, and I really like the results!

Notes to myself.

Also, somewhere along the way the flowers in the haku lei turned into flames, and I took a shortcut laying textures in the foreground to make it more interesting.

Goddess of Fire Creation.

One of the most flattering things I’ve heard of this image is an anecdote that David told me. We needed to get this one out sooner than the other ones because Mamiko was giving a seminar, so they could print the flyers, so we did work on the details until it was completed and the file was transferred. Once they had the posters ready, a lady registered in the seminar even though she did not know what it was about because she found the image so compelling! That really made my day!