Friday, January 26, 2007

Support A Cure Dragonlings and Love Notes

Well, my custom order dragonlings are drawn, colored, cut and ready to be shipped off for button-izing! : ) I will spend tonight drawing up some friends to go with them, but however many I get done is what I get done--they hit the mail tomorrow! The rest of the order will be made up of promo buttons.

Here are some pictures of the dragonlings for Support A Cure as they were in the process of being drawn and colored.

These little guys proved to be far more challenging than I anticipated for several reasons.

First of all, I was lucky enough to receive some Prismacolor colored pencils for the holidays. Now, for those of you who don't deal with colored pencils much, Primsacolor pencils are the holy grail of colored pencils--they have a soft, supple lead that allows you to fully cover an area. Their colors are rich and true. Because the lead is soft, colors blend together when you layer them. The lead doesn't break arbitrarily. You can usually pick out works done with Prismacolors upon a cursory inspection because the difference in quality is so breathtaking.

Anyway, back on topic, I finally got a set of these much longed for pencils. And this was the first project I had where I was going to try them out.

Secondly, my usual marker (the thin tip of a Le Plume II) was running out of ink, so I went to Michaels to purchase a new one. While I was there I also picked up a Micron 01 as I am a sucker for very fine tipped pens and thought this might work as well. Upon getting home and doing some trial runs, I found the Micron to be much better suited to the detail work of my dragonlings, so I decided to switch to using that instead.

Now, when you combine number 1 and number 2--I was using all new materials. I discovered that the soft lead of the prismacolors meant that the colors would smudge if brushed against. (I lost several otherwise complete dragonlings to un-erasable smears of color onto the background.) The soft lead also meant that light colors, when colored over the ink, would actually cover the ink! This meant I would need to re-ink lines over the pencil. Naturally, pencil does not absorb ink as well as paper, so that meant the ink would stay wet and smudge-able for longer. Which meant touch-ups with colored pencils would cause the ink to blend into the pencil (neat effect actually, but not what I was going for).

Combine these technical difficulties with the aesthetic ones of trying to find 10 different ways to combine a handful of pinks (all 10 dragonlings are different shades and combinations of pinks) and it was definitely a learning experience! : D

The great part was that having a custom order meant I stuck with figuring it out and by the end had adapted to my new materials. I am really happy with the results. The finer lines of the Micron pens combined with the bold, beautiful, saturated colors of the Prismacolors makes for crisp, clean dragonlings that "pop" against the white backgrounds.

WIP-Custom Order
WIP-Custom Order

Other than wrestle with my little dragonlings, I also listed up a new set of love cards in the shop today. This set has the Busso Rabutin quote on the larger card and uses the red striped paper for both the flower on the larger card and the envelopes for the smaller cards.

Love Notes Set-Mixed

Finally, the last thing I want to direct you all to, is something that was mentioned in the Etsy forums, Craft Memo. Apparently, it is a web based program that allows you to organize all things crafty related--supplies, costs, selling prices, etc. I haven't decided if I want to give it a try yet or not, simply because it sounds almost like more work to use the software than to do the crafts! However, my current method of countless excel spreadsheets (including the one that magically vanished off my computer, forcing me to start over, grrr) is not exactly easy to use either. Regardless, I thought there might be some people interested in giving it a spin. If I do decide to give it a go I'll be sure to report back with my experience/opinions.

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