Tag Archives: illustrator

Hawaii Hula Girl, Handpainted Jewelry Box

rockabilly, psychobilly, memorabilia, keepsake box, treasure box, curio box, memory box, jewelry box, cedar box, cigar box, psychobilly, kustom kulture, hand painted, miniature paintings, illustrator, illustrations, hula, hawaiiana, hawaii, grass skirt, hula dancer, aloha , island, beach scene, sea side, islander, ukulele

This line of keepsake / memory / jewelry box items are a combination of skills by father daughter team Dean and Deanna. Shabby Chic style, they are either refurbished vintage or embellished new to look antique/retro. Deanna does the painting and embellishments and box interiors and Dean does the pin-striping. See this listing at our shop.


This is a vintage wood box with painted details.

Hand painted Hawaiian Hula motif.

•Exterior hand painted (no decals!)
•Felted feet for non-scratch
•Clear coated artwork for duration
•Beautiful wood detailing
•Lined with floral material


Measures:
6.5″ W
3″ H
4″ D

Rockabilly / Psychobilly / Retro / Vintage

A medium sized box perfect for bed stand or dresser.

Definitely a conversation starter and complete one of a kind!

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Creating a Custom Sketchbook

custom sketchbook
I began a new sketchbook recently, starting by creating a custom fabric cover for it. I found a really great set of visual instructions on  creating fabric book covers here on this awesome guy’s youtube page (The Post Apoc).

The instructions say it better than I can, but if you’re too lazy to watch the video then I’ll say it’s much like wrapping a gift, where you lay your shirt out, cutting it into a rectangle, leaving a few extra inches on each side to fold in.

For my cover, I went a bit of a different route, using a thicker t-shirt than the one in the video (this definitely adds a challenge). I used an old favorite, a Cramps t-shirt that sadly didn’t fit anymore. I loved The Post Apoc’s suggestion to use a ribbon to create a book-marker. This is especially handy for anyone using their covered book as a sketchbook or writing journal. In addition I decided to add a little flair with a piece of scrap leather I had lying around. I used this to cover the spine. Pieces of leather can be found at a craft store like Michael’s or AC Moore or probably a fabric store like JoAnn’s or maybe your local mom and pop shop.

I also included some studs I had in my stash as well (it pays to never throw anything out) these are the very same as the kind you buy for leather jackets and such. If you don’t have a local source I recommend this store, I have history there, Angry, Young and Poor.  The studs were a real mess and a half to get in, but if you’re careful it’s do-able. Use a hammer, a steady hand and some patience. And something to hold your book in place, I used my legs but a vice may have worked too however I didn’t want to risk compromise  to the book in any way.

Mine isn’t perfect by any means. It’s a bit crooked in spaces (because I’m impatient and do things in a rush) and the corners were pretty tough to tuck in and glue in place. That’s what happens when you use a thick, cotton shirt – but I wouldn’t let that deter you. I wound up just making a few slits and cutting the extra material out. Honestly, if you use the first page of your book and the last page of your book to create ‘end papers‘ by gluing them to the inside front cover and inside back cover, you won’t see any corner folding imperfections anyway.
custom sketchbook end papers
The end papers are a great place to get really creative. I decided to draw on mine – ’cause I’m an artist. But you could decoupage on yours, scrapbook, or write messages. On my back end papers I pasted in some funky fortunes I’ve collected from Chinese cookies over the years.
Have fun and enjoy your own project!

fortune cookie sketchbook endpapers

custom sketchbook cover custom sketchbook cover custom sketchbook cover

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Red Heads are More Fun

Red Heads Do it Better
Red Heads Do it Better


Well, in follow up to the sketch post for Saint Patrick’s day (long overdue!) here is how the final image came out for the Lady and Leprechaun print.

A tongue in cheek, bawdy Irish pin-up. You are invited to laugh and celebrate your inner Irish. Who’s the lucky one? The girl with the newfound gold or the leprechaun himself?

This piece is titled, “Devil Take the Women” after the old Irish tune, Whiskey in the Jar.

“I counted out his money and it made a pretty penny
I put it in me pocket and I took it home to Jenny
She sighed and she swore that she never would deceive me
But the devil take the women for they never can be easy”

A fun addition to the home gallery. Chic / Fashion / Retro / Rockabilly / Prehistoric
Prints of this original watercolor are available at the Etsy store in our Vintage Style Prints section.

-8×10″
-Art prints are packaged in clear wrap and fortified twice within a cushion mailer.
-Printed on Domtar Cougar paper:
High 98 brightness for striking contrast
white, super smooth
FSC® certified
Rainforest Alliance Certified™
SFI® Certified Sourcing
10% post-consumer recycled content
100lb
Acid-free for archival quality

Here are some shots of the piece in progress:

sketches
Original sketches and ideas. I definitely liked the leprechaun from the get go.
The pencil drawing. Pretty fleshed out and ready for ink.
ink and watercolor
The inked piece with water brushed over – ready for watercolor wash on the background.

early watercolor
Early stages of watercolor wash.
A little more detail, more layers of color added.

And some close ups of the detail. Watercolor and pen & ink. 

 

 

 

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PRIMROSE PRINTS features ‘Grease and Grace’ on their tumblr

The style of the old masters by a modern pen. Fine Art Print by Deanna Meyer of Grease and Grace Art Designs is featured.

 

Amidst the usual chaos this morning, as I sipped my tea, I found a nice surprise waiting in my inbox. It seems as though a fellow shop, from across the pond, spied one of our prints and featured it on their tumblr blog.

The shop name is Primrose Prints:

“PrimrosePrints are family business based in Norwich, England. We specialise in antique and modern vintage prints, mounted/matted and ready for you to frame. We love carboot sales, auctions, antique fairs and flea markets, and spend most of our weekends rummaging through stacks of dusty boxes looking for treasures – old prints and maps, colour plates and battered old books beyond repair but still full of beautiful pictures. We only sell original prints,
no modern
reproductions.”

I perused the family’s facebook page and tumblr this morning and found it to be quite a charismatic and charming collection of ‘old school’ art and collectables. I was honored myself, to have my Magnificent Oz” print on the same page as a Randolph Caldecott piece, master of the Golden Age of Illustration.

“The Magnificent Oz” Print available on our Etsy.

 

It seems as though this family enjoys the picking process as much as our family does. I’d love to travel abroad and do some digging overseas someday! The unique items they find are for sale at their Etsy Shop.

I encourage my friends who are lovers of art, illustration, curiosities,  Victorian era, antiques and things vintage to give these guys a look and pass on some love their way.

Much thanks and we’re happy to now be in the ‘circle’ of another unique family team.
—Deanna Meyer
For the ‘Grease and Grace’ crew

 

Primrose Prints Etsy shop.

 

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Making a Pinup Girl – Sketch to Final Painting

Getting ready to get down to work!

Here’s a little look into my world of illustration.

Click images to enlarge.

This is a pictorial view of my process of painting.

The subject is one of my most recent pinup girls, who is now available in 5×7 prints and as note cards.

I have always found that people enjoy seeing an artists work in process. In 2012 I had a gallery exhibition which was entirely based upon that theme. That show was centered around my children’s book portfolio, but it’s the same idea, same process, same technique.

Initial sketches composite.

This pinup was a lot of fun to do. She started as a doodle one night in bed. I did a quick sketch of a plush shark. He came out so cute I thought he needed a little girl friend so next I designed the mermaid to go with him. I wanted it to be tongue in cheek. An “odd couple.”

After a few initial thumbnails (actually, the shark needed only one thumbnail. He went straight from  thumbnail to final, with no alterations, which is unusual) I get to work on the sketches. I rough it out a few times to get anatomy and facial features right.

I liked the idea of her fishtail having VonDutch style flames, sort of a shout out to my artist father but also to the Rockabilly/Hot Rod/Pinup/Kustom culture scene in general.  

The inking stage.

 

Once I felt confident about the sketches I scanned the shark and the mermaid in to my computer. This allowed me to reduce or enlarge their size as needed. This step was necessary because they were drawn, as sketches are very random creations, at different sizes, not suited to be next to one another. By scanning them and playing with them digitally I could manipulate their sizes and rotate as needed.   When they looked nice together I made a print of them and took that to my light table.

The light table and using the computer as stated above are tricks to keeping your project flow moving fast. I don’t have months to paint one image so I utilize my tools to the best of my advantage. If my sketch looks exactly the way it needs to, why draw it again to make it larger, etc?  There are always refinements that happen on the final paper, but it is quicker this way and less hassle.

When transferred to the final paper in pencil, I then added the background. Naughty, naughty me – I had no plans whatsoever for this environment except that it would obviously be under water. I think about composition and kind of just let my imagination take over at that stage of the game. After pencil sketches are done, the whole thing gets ink.

Beginning, laying out background color with the masking fluid over the main design.

By the way – that artist’s tape in these pictures is pretty awful. I think it was a Michael’s off brand. I got it because I had a gift card and I thought it should be the same quality as my usual Artists Pro tape seeing as how it was the same price. No, no and more no. You’ve been warned.

It was a last minute conversation with a Facebook friend (I often post my images to my Facebook while I work to get opinions from friends) that inspired the leopard print tail and the fiery red hair.

The next images show the progression of painting. I think I paint with watercolor ‘wrong’. At least based on what I was taught, but it works for me. I was told once by a professor that I hold my paintbrush like a pencil, and it’s true. I don’t really care. I do sort of ‘draw’ with the brush. Well, anyway, I block in major areas of color first. Like the sky or in this case, water. I use a colorless masking fluid  to block out areas which I don’t want to get any paint on yet by accident. It’s fun to peel off. If you were one of those odd children of the eighties who peeled Elmer’s glue off your hands to see your fingerprints, you’ll get the idea of fun I’m talking about. I’m weird.

Background pretty well laid in.

Continuing the layering of paint process, I add light layers to build up light and shadow. I think a lot about my light source and where it is coming from. Somewhere once I read a quote from Trina Schart Hyman  that helped me:

“Illustrator Garth Williams inspired me to think about light. I was illustrating Snow White when he came to Lyme for a visit. During his stay, he would often look over my shoulder while I worked. ‘You must think more about and in terms of light and light source,’ he told me one day. ‘Light can create drama—light means everything in illustration.’ He was right. I began to open my eyes, and study light.”

When the image is finished it gets scanned once again and I really do very little digital editing, only what is necessary as there is always a small amount of quality loss when digitizing art. Levels are adjusted and

More details get filled in.

sharpness corrected but usually little more.
Once it’s digitized I can get it ready for print!

So there you have it, folks!

Take care,
— Deanna Meyer at Grease and Grace Art Designs

The final product.

 

 

 

 

 

Mermaid is now filled in.
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