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New iPad Pro | Digital Painting!

I’ve been dying to get my hands on an iPad Pro for ages to be able to paint and draw (in bed, not going to lie haha) without having to lug around sketchbooks, paints, pencils, etc. so many illustrators swear by the iPad Pro to create content and even full works of art. So after plenty of research, I finally got the 12.9″ iPad and the Apple Pencil! Much of the first things I’ll be creating will be complete expieriments as I play with the programs like Procreate, 53 Paper and Photoshop Sketch which are my favorites so far. The pencils and inking in Procreate are awesome!!! The only struggle I’ve had so far (besides wobbly lines) is blending and retrieving previously used colors, but I’m blaming most of this on operator error. If anyone knows and good places for tutorials on iPad illustration and hacks, please let me know! Here’s my first painting!

Ballet Dancer

It’s probably not the best, but much better than anything I did on my iPad mini! Since dancers and flowers are some of my favorite subject matters, expect to see plenty of those in the future. I’m excited to see where I can take my illustration now and plan on selling designs in my Society 6 store and Etsy so stay tuned!

Stay Creative!

Alicia

Floral Camera Shutter Watercolor Illustration

Even though I work full time as a designer, try to stay active, and am building a photography business, I have been wanting to get back into painting both watercolor and acrylic for quite some time. My friend had mentioned she wanted to get a camera shutter tattoo with some floral designs but couldn’t find anything to reference to show me. An couple ideas came to me so I decided to paint out both of them starting with this one. Here’s the process:

Line work

Cross hatching shading:

Instagram picture!!: (follow me @aliciaannart)!

First washes in the petals:


Hopefully I’ll be finishing this up tonight! The final print will be available in my Etsy shop as well!

Alicia

You’re Gonna Make it After All | Brush Hand Lettering

I was saddened greatly by yesterday’s loss of Mary Tyler Moore. As someone who has risen above a great deal of struggle, her shows message and motto are a positive inspiration and she was a role model to so many. In this world, women don’t have many strong role models to look up to. We have wonderful women like Oprah, Ellen, and Michelle Obama, but in television we mostly see women who are famous for making sex tapes, partying, and having babies at 15 everywhere we look. I love watching television shows from before my time because I have no interest in the Kardashians latest escapades. 

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of MeTV (Providence New Bedford) which runs shows like Petticoat Junction, The Brady Bunch, I Love Lucy, and others. I also was addicted to Little House on the Prarie on Hallmark for quite a few years! Otherwise I’m usually watching Netflix (binging the Gilmore Girls, Stranger Things, A Series of Unlikely Events, and Dance Academy) or would rather spend time reading. Call me old, call me lame, call me a looser or boring, but watching teenagers get wasted and not remember making a baby are just not for me. 

We need more positive role models in today’s society and that’s what today’s lettering is about. We’re always being told we can’t do that or our dreams are too big by both family, society and big business. 

But…

We’re gonna make it after all!

Rest In Peace Mary Tyler Moore.

The Wise Owl | Wildlife Illustration

The wisdom of the owl is a legend dating back to the Greco-Roman era and the reference seems to be made in popular culture quite often. Not only are these beautiful creatures known to be wise, but are often misunderstood as well, because they are nocturnal and live in the dark, they have been associated with witchcraft and black magic. I mean who has ever watched a movie and someone is lost in the ominous woods with the tell tale owl hooting and the character is either afraid or foreshadowing shows something bad about to happen. Owls have also been associated with bad luck and bad omens. I don’t believe any of the bad things said about owls because I enjoy photographing, drawing and watching them! The association reminds us that sometimes things are not what they seem and if you are kind to the owl she will share her wisdom and beauty with you as everyone thrives together.

To err is human, but to find a solution is wise like the owl.

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Barn Owl Flight | Warwick Center for the Arts Juried Photogrpahy Show Winner!

I’m almost still in shock and awe, just like I was when my name was the final one announced, as the winner of the Excellence Award at the Warwick Center for the Arts  Nature’s Gifts Juried Photography Show! To photograph owls takes an incredible about of determination, patience and ability to withstand a lot of dissapointment and the cold while waiting to possibly spot an owl.


The juror, Jan Armor’s kind and humbling words about my photograph were: “I am in awe of this perfect image of a spectacular creature with wings spread wide. It is a lovely vision, so rare, so beautiful and so technically difficult to capture. This photograph took my breath away.”

Wow!

I first started photographing owls in 2013 when the massive eruption of Snowy Owls began appearing all over the United States, with plenty of Arctic visitors in Rhode Island. My first few trips out, trekking though the snow for hours at the crack of dawn, was finally rewarded one morning when I saw my first juvenile snowy owl perched on some rocks by the ocean. I was in awe of this beautiful creature and became owl obsessed. Investing in a Sigma 150-500mm lens to capture wildlife, I went out many times (sometimes unsuccessful) to try to capture these rare visitors. Pretty soon I was visiting almost daily and photographing tons of Snowys when rumors of an even rarer Barn Owl began to surface. The Barn Owl was apparently in a territory battle with the Snowy, and one sadly fell victim to the larger owl. It wasn’t until the year after, when a few Snowys returned, that I managed this image. I had heard of the Barn Owls return and spent the day waiting. Frozen and defeated, I got in my car and left. I decided to take a nearby backroad detour, and wooosh! Across the road mere feet from me flew my Barn Owl (lovingly nicknamed “Barney”). I pulled over in a ditch and in complete solitude and amazement watched as the owl fluttered and hovered, as it hunted its dinner. Frozen and enthralled I watched until dark, and thanked the Barn Owl for making it’s marvelous appearance to me. The Barn Owls are Nature’s Gifts in all their glory!


On another note, someone called me “The Owl Lady”, a title I’m completely not opposed to and probably was not the first or last time I’ll be called that! You can probably see my Barn Owl ring in this picture above!


Thank you so much to my bestie and photographer in training Kim, and my Mom for coming out on this amazing night and supporting all of my crazy ideas!

Let’s get out and see some owls!

Alicia (aka “The Owl Lady”!)

You can buy your owl print of “Barn Owl Flight” in my Etsy shop!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/269398094/barn-owl-flight-photo-print

Conceptual Portrait Shoot | Newport RI

Before the cold set in I wanted to do one more outdoor conceptualized shoot, and had the perfect model (with a theater background), with the perfect wardrobe ready to go (and the DIY floral crown)! One of my favorite kind of concept stories are ones that have some kind of meaning behind them. I think when doing this kind of work you should never start photographing without some kind of plan behind what you want to talk abut visually. The series concept is “Princess in the Abandoned Tower”, and lucky for us we have an abandoned tower to use in our availability. Brenton Point in Newport has a rich history from the Gilded Age of society, one of my favorite time periods to read about (I’m a huge book nerd). When looking around the estate “The Bells” it’s easy to imagine a stunning manor house by the sea, unfortunately it also suffered a fire in 1960 and was mostly demolished. Left standing today is the lookout tower (that you can climb to the top of for stunning ocean view) and the charred remains of the carriage house, horse stalls and all. Unfortunately is has also been vandalized by graffiti (not everyone adheres to “Take only pictures, leave only footprints” as most urban explorers do) but it is still one of my favorite places to photograph. When I first became interested in photography back a few years ago, this was one of the first places I explored. I love reading about history and was always a fan of the subject in school, so historical sites with an air of mystery sound like something straight out of one of my favorite fiction novels.

rhode-island-portrait-photographer-k-1rhode-island-portrait-photographerthe-princess-in-the-towerupon-the-tower

outlookyour-love-is-the-one-that-i-wantthe-wait

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Handmade for the Holidays

For anyone (like all of us starving artists here!) who don’t have a ton of cash to spend this season, and spend a lot of time stressing over what to get your family and friends for the holidays….don’t!

Crafty-ness to the rescue! There are a TON of great things you can make for your loved ones that will be meaningful, come from the heart and won’t break the bank.

Here’s how:

  1. Think of who you are gifting. What do they love? What are their hobbies and passions? My mom and her boyfriend are ballroom dancers, they love to travel, and my mom loves lighthouses and sailboats, so a few years ago I made them this painting of them ballroom dancing by the sea!
    acrylic-painting-sunset-dancers

2. It’s all about family! This is the season where you will see family and friends, eat lot of food, drink lots of wine, and be merry, not worry about your budget and if they will be disappointed if you don’t buy a gift. You can create perfect gifts for family, ABOUT family. Last year I made mini albums for my step-mom, Mémère, and sister of all of my nephews birthday photos for a whopping total of $18. Three people covered for $18! Win!

3. What would they enjoy? Maybe they aren’t enjoyers of any particular hobby or have any crazy passions (as a dancer, I get little ballerinas all the time, I’m easy to buy for!) but what would they enjoy? I did little mini paintings for my mom and sister last year of owls. Are they obsessed with owls like me? Nope, but they loved them anyway.
handmade-for-the-holiday

4. What are YOU good at? This is the perfect time to put your crafty skills to work, and if you don’t have one the perfect time to learn! Maybe you’ve always wanted to take up knitting, painting, calligraphy or floral decoration. Learn something new, and apply it to gifts that will be treasured because they were made with care and not bought. My Aunt even makes me amazing hand kit scarves, mittens and leg warmers every year!

And finally, remember no matter what, your family and friends will still love you if you don’t come down the chimney with a sack full of gifts. Use this time to expand your horizons, learn something new, and see their faces light up when you give them something handmade.


This years gift to my barista friend!


A custom painting for my airplane loving nephew

Happy crafting!

Alicia

 

DIY Flower Crown and Photoshoot!

I adore flower crowns, so when Kim and I decided to do a fairy tale style shoot at an abandoned building (think beautiful princess in a tower) I knew a flower crown would go perfect with her dress. I went to Michael’s because I didn’t have time to order one and figured they would have one. They didn’t. So I scoured the floral department in hopes I could come up with something myself. It actually came out pretty great and my client loved it as well!

Here’s how I did it:

1. Supplies:

Floral wire

Floral tape

Fake flowers and greenery

Simple right?


2. Cut floral wire into 3 lengths that fit comefortable around your head as shown above. They feel kind of flimsy alone so I braided them together to make a circle that was more sturdy. Braiding them was kinda tricky. I started by holding them together with one hand and awkwardly weaving them with the other hand.


3. Once the circle is complete, I wrapped one strand around the end of he other to hold it together, then used the floral tape to reinforce it and make it look cleaner.




4. Now the fun part, add flowers!!! Cut the flowers off their stems, but leave some stem behind (like an inch) because that’s how they will attach to the circle. I kept the leaves from the discarded stems too for additional fullness.


5. Get inturrupted by puppy kisses and snuggles!


6. Select a flower (I started with my big one because I wanted to nestle it with smaller ones around it) I bent the stem a bit right under he flower so the flower would be straight. Starting near the base of the flower, wrap the stem with wire (I guessed how much I’d need and trimmed it). It’s a little tricky to hold and start the wrap to be patient!



7. Next, cover the wire with floral tape so it looks nicer and elimanates the sharp ends.


8. Continue to add flowers and greenery as you choose! Be creative and have fun! When you’re putting flowers close to each other you have to weave the wire between flowers sometimes and it can be tricky.


9. Enjoy! Who needs Snapchat anyway!



Model/ Photographer obligatory selfie!

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Happy crafting!

Alicia

Fruit for Thought 

Today I revisited a technique I haven’t seen since my early days of college, crosshatching and pointillism. Drawing for after dot or line after line, carefully and methodically isn’t exactly what I would call fun (I was told that “patience” is the key…..okay, right) but I have been revisiting techniques that I’m not so fond of to strengthen my art (and my hand, because I’ve been getting some cramps worse than typing this blog on my phone)! Okay so here we go what do I draw? What’s laying around? I have a lense cap, probably not a good subject. I have my dog, well she’s cute but I’m NOT drawing all that hair! Ok let’s be a typical artsey subject, fruit. Typical, but effective! I have a pear, an apple and a lemon, sounds like a good start! Let’s start with the outline and basic blocking in of tones with pencil of the pear, not so hard. I get my inker now (Micron 1) and start making lines, but should I contour them to the shape or just do straight lines? Well I decided to make these long lines that followed the shape and it was a hot mess. Next. Shorter lines all over the pear shape came next and this seemed to look better. I looked up cross hatching technique on Google (really what did we do without Google!?) and saw that this was probably a better approach. Excellent, let’s start crossing! Well there’s definitely something both maddening and meditative about doing this, first you overthink everything (is this line too big? Is this line too close? If I mess up it’s all over and you can’t go back)! Yet at the same time line after line and watching the tone and shape of the form break free is calming, once you stop panicking and overthinking everything. It’s kind of like yoga for your hand, it’s tough, you get cramps, but if you can see beyond that and just let the lines flow, you start to see it more clearly. I think I might be a little addicted to this, so it should be interesting to see where it goes!


Happy Drawing!

Alicia