MerryDay Goes to School : Week 2 assignment homedecor plate design

I intended to post my initial sketches for Make Art That Sells class' week 2 assignment first then write another full post for the final artwork. But I just got so involved with all the process that I decided to give it all my energy and blog about it later, which is now :).

I think I could say that last week's exercise is something like an eye opener to me. I did a lot of things I never pushed myself to do in the past. It's a lot of hard work and I felt so exhausted but relieved when I finally finished it.

In week 2 we learned about home decor. Lilla showed us lots of beautiful products and talked about why they were successful in the market. There were many items I never saw before and the idea of my artwork might have a chance to be produced just like those lovely items really excited me. I know though that that possibility depends on various factors, which some I cannot control like timing, competition, people's taste, the market etc. But I do believe in what Lilla always says in the class that you have to work hard, draw, draw and draw, keep improving your skill. I know from my past experience that it's the only thing that works.

For week 2 homework, we had to do plate design for home decor. We started with mini exercise of flower sketching. A simple and general subject we tend to draw first when have a pencil in our hands. This time we really looked into details and studied tiny lines, shapes and colors. I did several pages in pencil. This is one of them.

flowers pencil sketches

Then to follow Lilla's instruction of using different medium and go beyond our comfort zone, I tried  to push myself doing sketches in wet paint like acrylic here.

homework sketch with acrylic

I was not really comfortable with this paint at first. It was so hard for me to mix colors and have different shades other than the ones that already in the tubes. That's why you can see only red blue green here. I posted this photo in the class' facebook group and got a lot of encouragement to keep trying. So I did. This time I added water color paint.
homework sketch
I had no idea about painting techniques and decided not to care about that and just went with the flow. With computer turned off, no internet connection, no facebook, I really focused on my sketches and became more at ease and actually enjoyed my sketching :D

homework sketch

I did pages of water color and some of Copic markers. What attracted me most was the blue plant group in picture above (the left side). I really liked its colors and shapes and started to visualize in my head what my plate would look like.
Secret garden plate deign development
Since I'm not so good at painting traditional medium, I went back to my comfort zone, digital drawing. I drew in Illustrator but made it different than usual by adding some effects to make it look like hand drawn and painted. In picture above, the left design is my first version (you can look at the details by clicking at the photo). You can see that each flower (and plant) stays so close to each other and the group looks uncomfortable sitting on left side of the plate. So I spread them out, gave each flower some air and worked with different border. The idea was to make it lighter and more airy.

secret garden plate design detail

Then I added some story with my little bunny admiring flower. I really loved the blue plant and it took some time to adjust the bunny's color to go with the blue. The bunny was supposed to be a bit sneaky while not too lost in the crowd of flowers, a very difficult part.

secret garden plate design detail

Final adding,  the bird and the dragonfly and a bit of decorating on border (See the first image).

secret garden plate design detail

The final artwork is not really what I expect at first. I thought I would do something in more graphic style and maybe more modern? The overall look of this final design is more traditional to me, with everything in border. No quirky elements as I wanted to do. But I love it anyway. I feel it has gone through a lot of well-thought steps that I pushed myself to do. I would have gone with the first cluttered design with no bunny, bird and dragonfly as I began to get tired after long hours of drawing. But the facebook group really pushed me forward. The students there were so full of energy and did a lot of wonderful designs. I looked at my work and thought that it could be improved more so I added more hours of working and it turned out to be what I'm so proud of here :)

What I have learned from this class so far :

• Hand drawn and painted in sketching is a very important step.  You will get a better sense of lines and colors than doing it digitally.

• Work on details a lot. tiny lines and shapes really add charm on final artwork :)

• Try to add some story, animals, settings, moods etc. Think about it as picture book.

• Don't give up just because you are tired. If still have time, take some rest, do something else, come back with fresh eyes, new ideas may come :)

That's it! Week 2 has ended and I'm starting week 3 now with the topic of children's book. Most exciting! :D

Thanks for coming. It's a long post but I hope you enjoy my process and have a merry day!