Taniku shokubutsu, or “spoiled child”, according to Weblio‘s definition of the word “succulents” in Japanese:
I guess a spoiled child would probably be ta-niku (have plenty of meat)!
I had absolutely no IDEA about the succulent-verse online until I photographed the adorable little things as I was walking one day. Peeps are real serious about these plump plants! Using the PRISMA app, I made a colorful fabric pattern out of some little succies I photographed while walking near Date Street in Honolulu, HI.
Then using the Prisma app on my phone, I applied different filters to the photo:
Then I took a screenshot of my phone and opened it in Photoshop (CS5, version 12.0). You can also save the photo or e-mail it to yourself. (Prisma cropped my photo so I had to run it twice, once on each side of the photo.)
After cropping out the phone stuff and the app, I aligned and joined the 2 halves of the photo together into 1 layer. Then I made a backup, duplicate of the entire layer and turned it off, just in case I messed up later.
Next I used the Lasso tool to duplicate a few flowers. I just traced around the edges of a flower and Copied as New Layer a few times, until I had a few extra flowers to be used later as ‘filler’.
Then I used the Offset filter (select menu Filter>Other>Offset) to turn the picture into a repeat with four corners.
Using my new flower copies, I filled in the blank space in the center where the four corners meet. Then I used the Smudge tool to blend the four corners together.
I grew a few gray hairs creating this Cosmic Damask fabric pattern, but it was way worth it! From pencil sketches, scanning, and then repeat process. You’ll need some tracing paper for this, unless you prefer using a drawing app with a digital stylus.
First, I scoured the web for a nice old damask pattern. Here’s what a quick search might turn up — almost any of these will do the trick:
Now print out the damask pattern you just found. Print on regular paper, in a size that is easy for tracing.
Lay the tracing paper over the damask printout. Now this is where your artistic vision and skill come in! Think of a theme and start filling in the damask area with your own doodles, like mine below:
You can scan the tracing paper and continue to work on it in your photo editor software.
Where these latest ones came from, I can only guess. I think it’s the spring flowers everywhere — they kind of demand one’s attention, bursting out between concrete slabs, clawing their way over chain link fences, getting in in your face. Very aggressive NYC foliage demanded a place on my piece this week.
I finished the final piece today, and here it is framed:
…was reading, back when library cards were blue cardboard squares. It took me on quite a long detour in life, as instead of continuing fine art after LaGuardia HS, I ended up majoring in English.
The third page of my newest pad of paper was devoted to words, and the word “word”. Literally, kotoba, in Japanese, and in shining fuchsia, purple, and red. UPDATE: Customizable prints are here via Zazzle. Add your name, a greeting, etc.
A trip to Sam Flax on Third Avenue in Manhattan turned up yet another silky surface for pens — Borden and Riley #234 Bleedproof Paris Paper For Pens 11X14. It’s 108 lb weight, rich and heavy and the pens just dance across its surface. I highly recommend spending some time with this paper. Use caution when erasing pencil guidelines after inking, though; you will pick up some color if not thoroughly dry, and if you favor kneaded erasers, use a fresh one to avoid smudging.
Last week I finished my drawing called “Futari”. I drew on two 5 x 7 inch Clayboards, using pencil and Sakura fine point pens.
As it will soon be two years since I got hitched, I wanted to play with the concept of marriage. Trying to capture the strangeness of being married; there is some whimsy, constant movement, implied forms, negative space…puns intended.
September 25, 2014 UPDATE: Postcard AND greeting card prints of this work are here!
As my office job quit date nears, I am re-developing my artistic muscles, which DO indeed atrophy!
In order to get back into art making, I thought I’d enjoy some basic drawing, and my mom gave me an old Koh-I-Noor rapidograph which had lain in a drawer for years. The worn sticker on the plastic box still reads, “Made in USA, Bloomsbury, NJ.” Good times.
Rapidographs are great, but they are pricey and fragile. After much cleaning, soaking in Speedball Pen Cleaner, and threading with fine wire from an old pair of headphones, I was only able to get about 30 minutes of continuous operation from the old pen. So I picked up a set of Sakura fine pens. (There may be some other factors affecting the Koh-I-Noor’s operation, but darned if I can figure them out right now.)
The Sakura pens flow beautifully, especially on the 5″x7″ Claybord I’m using. If you want to feel pure wonderfulness, take a mechanical pencil to some Claybord! Doodle away!