Why I love being an artist now more than ever

The above art is available on acrylic, metal, canvas and paper by clicking here 

This week I've had the awesome opportunity of working with a client on a piece of art for their home. The process I've gone through is a perfect example of why I love being an artist now more than ever.

I did the above mixed media piece a while back and have had it available in fine art reproductions for quite some time. The piece is a digital composition made up of an original watercolor painting, scanned objects (pearl jewelry) and an authentic vintage photo taken in San Francisco that I found in a family photo album.

How did I do it? Here's the cool part (well, it's cool to me) because there's no way I could have done this back when I was in art school before Photoshop existed (yes, there was a time when that was the case).

First, I painted the woman in watercolors (above). I actually painted her in two separate paintings. Her head was painted on a large scale (12 inches tall) so I could paint all the detail I wanted in the eyes, face and hair. Then I painted her body beside the head on the same piece of paper at the same height of 12 inches. Why 12 inches? Because that's width of the watercolor paper that fits on my large scale 12x17 art scanner.

You may have noticed that the woman's head is slightly more elongated in the original than in the final piece. That's because I decided to scale her head down a bit, so she had a more heart shaped face. I did that when I was marrying everything together in Photoshop to create the final piece.

Then a couple of years later (last week), I get a great email from a potential client asking if I could possibly recreate the piece with different colors to match the client's powder room in their late 1940's San Francisco home. The colors of the powder room? Sky blue with black and white octagonal floor tile. So retro wonderful!

Because the original art piece was done in pieces, I responded that I'd give it a go and see what I could come up with.


The above art is available on acrylic, metal, canvas and paper by clicking here

There is no way I could have pulled this off without Photoshop. I was able to digitally divide the original painting even more than it had been before. After dividing out the various pieces of clothing so it looked a lot like a paper doll, I used Photoshop's powerful color manipulation tools to change the colors completely. Instead of an olive coat, I created a beautiful blue one. I manipulated the hot pink gloves, shoes, belt and skirt to be various shades of blue (I personally love the pale blue gloves). I changed the tone of the pearls so they weren't pink. I made the woman's lips more red. And I even changed her eye color.

Finally, I was able to give the client two different options to choose from--an all blue composition with a dash of coral (above) and then a multi-colored composition that has blue, coral and wheat (below). I think I prefer the all blue one best, because the woman really pops against that background.

The above art is available on acrylic, metal, canvas and paper by clicking here

I'm always surprised at how much I'm able to do now artistically thanks to the technological advances of the past 25 years. Being an artist now is better than being an artist at any other time in the world's history. And I'm sure I'll be saying that in another 25 years from now.

P.S. If you ever see something I've done that you love but want me to recreate it in different colors, email me. I'm always game for a challenge. I don't charge for the recoloring work. I can make it available for you to see what it would look like in a fine art reproduction and then you can decide if you wish to purchase it or not. 
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  1. So darned cute! But you know I like the *green* original best (yes, that's me with the green!) I love reading the how to.
    This is a beautiful recolor!

  2. Beautiful Cindy! And so fun! I love the cable car in the background too.

  3. It's so geeky too....but in a good way.

  4. Cindy, you are amazing, just reading what you have accomplished blows me away.

    I see lots of potential for more creativity.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  5. You are so creative! I stopped in my tracks when I saw the "I Magnin" sign.

  6. That's way beyond my abilities and barely within my comprehension. Well done! I like them all.


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