Friday, May 16, 2014

An Update and a Peek at my Process

Hello All!
It's been a loooooong time since I updated my blog because I have been keeping really busy! I have been working on two sets of wedding invitations, one of which is done, the other is about half way done. I am starting to design yet another set, and working on some commissions and some personal projects. I also am still doing some graphic design work for a home linens company. So I've been keeping super busy!
That being said, I thought it was about time I did another post about my process. This fall, I had a commission to paint a piece as a wedding gift. It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but I was really happy with the result!

First, I started with the reference the client gave me for the project. They had already been to the wedding, so they had taken pictures of the bouquets for me.
The reference. There wasn't much to go off of, but I did at least have an idea for color
From there, I made some REALLY rough sketches to send to the client. I knew the client very well, so I knew she'd be able to work from these. I also offered to send her clearer sketches, but she got a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do. From these rough sketches, I did a final sketch, then transferred it to watercolor paper to paint! I love my lightbox, it has made my life so much easier. (And the best part? It was a garage sale find!)

Before I start painting, I always do a rough color composition in photoshop to give myself a general map for the painting:
As you can see, I just put the general colors in, outlining two of the flowers at the top and giving them shadows so I know that the direction I want to take the painting in will work
Then it's time to start the painting!
I have all my paints ready, my brushes, and the painting taped onto my drafting table. I also work with my sketch next to me so I know where the shadows and hi-lights need to go. The color comp I leave up on my computer screen to follow.
I paint these like a paint by number. (Did any one else love these as a kid?) First I painted the light grey background. Then, I mix the shadow, base color, and hi-light for a flower. (I typically use gouache to paint all my pieces). Then I start with all the hi-lights of a certain color, than the midtone, then finish with the shadows. After I have done this for all the flowers, I do the white outlines:
As you can see, I paint it color by color until all my guidelines are filled in! It's a very exact way of painting, but it works really well for me. It's also really fun to see the painting come together piece by piece!
The finished painting with the original sketch. Time to take the tape off!
Here is the finished piece:
I loved painting this piece because the colors were so fun! The client was happy, and I believe the bride was too!
If you would like to commission a piece for a wedding, contact me via my etsy store or at

Also, a reminder that you can now follow me on facebook and on instagram! (anneappertillustration)

Now, back to work on everything else I have to do!