Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dynamic Auto Painter

I'm not one for specialty software for creating art. I use CS6 Illustrator, the master program that allows me to design vector patterns with mathematical precision. And I use Photoshop for a few subtle effects, but mostly for formatting raster files.

It's highly unlikely that I'll ever learn to paint, though. So, I was intrigued from the start with Dynamic Auto Painter for $99 - on sale for $50. After thinking about it 6 months, I bought it.

Gosh, it's fun! There are a lot of painting styles to choose from and countless custom options for tweaking the process. But I just like to pick a style, click play, sit there and watch it paint whatever image I've opened!  Be assured this is not like Photoshop filter.

For $50, I got more than my money's worth. Only time will tell if it will be useful to me professionally. (Click on my images to enlarge them.)

Here is a photo of the lake I see from my back door:

Here's what it looks like after I used the Van Gogh Starry style:
Here's a closeup. I started with a high res image and ended up with fantastic detail:

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Book Trailer for The Maiden Seer

It's not my usual line of work, being a writer. I learned early on I probably wouldn't make a living from it.

That didn't stop me from writing 5 books, however. Two of them are available at Amazon right now.

I came across a book trailer and decided it was something I had to try. So I did!

Here's the book trailer for The Maiden Seer:

Friday, September 2, 2016

New Cover for Loveweaver

My first Loveweaver cover achieved my purpose, but over time, especially after I created the cover for my upcoming book, The Maiden Seer, I felt the need to make a new one.

I wanted the two covers to have the same style.

Without further ado, here it is:

Monday, August 15, 2016

Needlepoint Flasks and Wallets

Graphic designers who create repeating patterns dream of seeing those patterns on products. I've been lucky enough to see my designs on Kleenex boxes, rugs, fabric, paper, sheets and blankets.

I'm certain, though, for every 500 pattern designers, there's one client looking to buy. This means the odds are not great in making a sale. Do you give up being a graphic designer in the surface art arena?

Heck, no.

I took on freelance jobs that were a bit outside of what I normally did, and learned a ton of new skills that I now put to use for a list of great clients.

One of those clients is Seth at Needlepaint.  I've blogged about Needlepaint before when I did a series of Christmas stockings.

My recent contribution is the wallets and flasks which turned out to be some of the most fun I've ever had designing professionally. There's just something about pixel art, which is basically what it is, that appeals to me. Elements in an image are pared down to the most essential, and the color palette is limited, too.

As of this posting, all the flask designs at Needlepaint are mine. I'm so proud of this work. And there's scarcely a repeating pattern in sight.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Loveweaver and Tablet Weaving

Finding out about tablet weaving was the genesis of my historical romance, Loveweaver. The more I read about it, the more interested I became.  My heroine, Llyrica, a tablet weaver, was conceived and my book began to take shape.

Here's a great 5-minute video that gives you a great idea of tablet weaving.  Gosh, he's good!

At the time of my research (15 years ago) internet research was not what it is today, much less You Tube tutorials, so I learned to tablet weave via this book, Card Weaving. It taught me all I needed to know about building my little loom, how to make my "tablets",  how to read a pattern, and even how to create my own designs.

The design you see on the images of my loom is the design that Llyrica wove for Slayde, the hero of Loveweaver. It is a design that goes quickly since the tablets turn forward 4 times and backward 4 times to form one motif. There are designs where tablets are turned in groups in opposing directions and you really need to pay attention or things can go wrong pretty quickly.

My favorite historical romance novels have heroines who have strong talents and can use them to shape their lives. I know what I'm talking about: I was a dressmaker for 35 years, raising my two children as a single mother.