Monday, December 30, 2013

Hide and Seek

I know it's been a little quiet around here recently, but I've been quite the busy little bee--especially since I was determined to finish up a certain artistic project for the holidays!

And now, I am oh-so happy to present my newest illustration, "Hide and Seek!"

You can call this either my magnum opus, or the bane to my existence.  Both are equally appropriate!  I started this piece over a year and a half ago as a gift for my newborn niece.  (Who is now almost two, but thankfully still loves woodland critters and duck tushies!)

This piece was a challenge every step of the way.  I'd open it up in Photoshop, move some animals around, tweak this and that, get discouraged, then put it away for a few months and do it all again.  Over the course of all those months, I altered (and altered, and altered...) the composition, added animals, subtracted animals, re-added animals, and drew that grass about a bagillion times.  It took me sixteen months just to decide how to tackle those leaves.  I cursed my over-ambition and wanted to scrap the entire thing on more than one occasion.

But 20 critters, 300+ Photoshop layers, and 60-70 hours later, it's complete and framed and now in the hands of a very happy little girl.  :)

And that makes every challenge totally worth it!

In the end, I'm glad this piece took me the better part of two years so I could apply everything I learned from my other illustrations along the way.  This piece is a mix of old styles and new techniques, texture experiments, and as much cuteness (and duck tushies!) as I could cram in.  It taught me to try new things, think big, and keep at something even if it seems impossible.  (It also taught me that sometimes a raccoon just wants to be a fox, but that's a story for another day!)

I hope you enjoy my newest illustration and artistic swan song to 2013.  But above all, I hope those duck tushies make you giggle as much as a certain niece of mine.  ;)