Magic Greenhouse

April 21, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Magic Greenhouse Illustration

Created using a combination of Adobe Illustrator, Corel Painter & Adobe Photoshop, painted mostly on a Microsoft Surface Laptop

Over the summer, I took an illustration class which involved us using the technique for 2 point perspective. This included 1, 2 and 3 point perspective. I didn't honestly enjoy the technique and it reminded me of my first art class during my freshman year of college, which I found unpleasant. There was so much discipline required to draw with precise perspective to get it all looking correct.    Fast forward many years later and for my graduate studies MFA degree that I've been working on, I found myself once again having to re-learn the drawing techniques of perspective.  We drew and drew different items with varying points of perspective, all in black and white and with charcoal.  I'm really interested in drawing with color, and if you've seen any of my artwork, you would see its filled with the brightest colors of every shade on the color spectrum.   After the class, it took me some time to creatively digest all of the techniques used for drawing. I needed to have some fun with perspective and see if I could make something colorful, bright and happy, while still using the drawing techniques for perspective. 

I decided an illustration with the idea of a greenhouse with dozens of plants in brightly colored flower pots blooming in a tiny garden greenhouse would fit the parameters.

 

This one is the most complete version I have so far. Notice the cat and the chipmunks... (more on them below) 

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See if you can find all three chipmunks in the picture above.

I created an entirely separate illustration of the chipmunks before placing them (shrinking them very small)  into the above scene.

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I did the same thing with the cat (My cat Boots) and some of the other elements such as the birds. Its easier for me sometime to create new image elements on separate pieces of paper (digital files) and then drag in the new elements on a separate layer.  This is what makes creating illustration work digitally so much easier. You can separate your image elements easily with layers using Photoshop or (in this case Corel Painter) 

 

Now you will also notice if you see this image at a higher resolution that some of the details are very realistic and photographic. That's because at some point during the illustration process, I brought my drawing into Adobe Photoshop and cut up some photographs I took with my Nikon and put them over my illustrated flowers using masking techniques, blending modes and image transparency so that there would be a hint of real life photographic texture.    I adore being able to seamlessly blend photographic textures with drawings, painting and photographs so that the end results are a combination of mixed media process for the final image, filled with details and colors.  Its hard to really view the details online but if you see it very close up or printed in a large format, the details are very visible. 

Most of the pots in this image are hand-drawn, though at some point I was planning to make one with photographs of actual pots instead of hand-drawn ones.  That would involve alot more Photoshop rather than painting them. I do both, sometimes it just depends on what I'm in the mood to create. 

 

You can see the progression below. This is an earlier version before I added a bunch more detail, color and flowers. You can see for this image, I started first by creating a black and white drawing to show myself where the light sources was coming from and where the shadows were. Sometimes I lose the values and shadows once I go full color, but its a good exercise to know where your shadows and highlights should ultimately be in an image. 

 

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