Category Archives: Submissions

Mountain Moments

 

 

Big Blue. Mingus Mountain. SMD

Big Blue. Mingus Mountain. SMD

 

Mingus Breezy. SMD

Mingus Breezy. SMD

 

Hills. Watercolor on gessoed Arches 140 lb. paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Hills. 4 x 6 watercolor on gessoed Arches 140 lb. paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Still time to vote in the Insects Skillshare Whimsical watercolor Design challenge!  Thanks so much for taking the time. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

 

Wishing-You-Joy-Orange

 

 

 

 

This Could Bee The One

 

 

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

This design was so fun to work on. I found the flower when I organized my artworks. It is mounted on wood, I placed it on a shelf. Thinking about this challenge, I was trying to find a not-so-ugly bug. Then It came to me. My blue bee was sort of pretty. There it began.

Bee Bloomers is my entry in the Spoonflower – Insects Skillshare Whimsical Watercolor design challenge. I really think this could be a contender for top ten. Can’t do it without you though!
(click links to vote)

 

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee, 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Carpenter Bee, 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

If you missed it, you can read about where the original ended up, the WIP here and the slow beginning.

Oh boy, seeing this again after so long, there are many things I would change. (The awful background.) You can see in the revised bee below, I did change quite a bit, digitally.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Carpenter Bee Revised. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

    Carpenter Bee Revised. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

    I made the mouth larger, to help it print better on fabric. I just copied, resized and pasted.

  2. Added the missing second antennae and front leg. In the reference photo, neither were visible. I copied and pasted those as well.I stretched the antennae, resizing for better printing.
  3. I beefed up her back and rear as well.  Sorry dear. The rear is now touching the leg, and is longer. The back surrounds the rear wing so it looks fully, “attached”.
  4. It was nearly impossible to crop the bee from the wood background. Some of the wood grain obliterated the hairs on the legs. The quickest thing to do was erase the hairs, and then draw them back on in Photoshop. I was dreading that part, but it turned out to be easy.
  5. I added highlights to the center leg, and made the bottom of the rear leg larger, and better attached to the top half.

It is hard to see most of these details in the low-res images, and they may not even show on the fabric. Then again, I have always been pleased with the quality of Spoonflowers printing. The work was fun, and challenging, and that counts for something in my book.

 

Carpenter Bee close-up. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Carpenter Bee close-up. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

 

 Additional Design Elements

Yellow Bloom. watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Yellow Bloom. watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

The only adjustments I made to the flower was to smooth the edges and add color between the blue center lines. I left them white on the painting, and I like it, but I have to admit it doesn’t “make sense”.

I smoothed the edges for better printing. I knew I was going to use an outline of the flower shape as an additional design element, so the edges needed to be as clean as possible.

Carpenter bees tunnel into wood to lay their eggs. Carpenter bee adults spend winter in wood within abandoned nest tunnels. After mating, the fertilized females excavate tunnels in wood and lay their eggs within a series of small cells. (from Wikipedia)

I wanted to include a wood element in the pattern. My first thought was an all over linear background. I couldn’t get it to work. I was “this close”. So at least I am on the right track.

Thing is, once I do manage to get it to repeat, I will be able to use it over and over. Below is a look at my idea. If you look at the lines on the left edge, and then the right, you well see that they do not match up. Some do, but not all.

Bee Bloomers, wood grain mock-up.

Bee Bloomers, wood grain mock-up.

 

So I had to rethink the wood. I filled those hollow flower shapes with several faux-wood grain patterns. And honestly, I think it works better. I have the bees facing all directions, and the “wood” flowers help to support the multi-directional toss.

I can use the wood grain as I have it to create a cheater quilt though! Woo Whoo!

 

Collection

Bee Bloomers Collection

Bee Bloomers Collection

I wanted soft colors for the background, that would not distract from the painted elements. White, blue, yellow and green. Spoonflower designers often seem to favor dark backgrounds, so I tried a steel-blue, sampled from the bee.

BAM!

There it was.
My design challenge entry.

I continued to play with color, and found that teal really made the flowers pop. The final turquoise is very Hawaii, tropical delight! For that one I changed the shade of green on the small button flower, and darkened the wood patterned flowers. For a closer look, visit my shop.

 

 

 

So thankful to you for taking the time to vote.
Grateful if you think of sharing the link with friends.
Happy if you enjoyed this lengthy post.

 

No matter how sure you that a friend will be there for you when you need them, it is the greatest feeling when the time comes, and they are. 

 

Prizes

  • All designs will be eligible for public voting, and the popular vote determines the top 25 winning designs. The first place winner will be chosen by Skillshare from the popularly-voted top 25 designs.
  • 1 first place winner each week (5 total, 1 per theme), chosen from the top 25 by Skillshare, will receive a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96) and $200 in Spoonflower credit.
  • The 2nd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $100 Spoonflower credit.
  • 3rd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $50 Spoonflower credit.
  • Remaining top 10 designs will receive a $20 Spoonflower credit. The top 25 popularly-voted designs from each theme (100 total, 25 per theme) will be automatically made available for sale in the Spoonflower Marketplace (provided they are a verified seller) where they will receive 10% commission on every sale — no $5 swatch required.
  • In addition, all design challenge entries submitted during the Skillshare partner design challenges (04/12/17 – 05/23/17) will be entered into a drawing; one lucky contest entrant will be randomly selected by Spoonflower for the Grand Prize on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The grand prize winner will receive a 1-year Spoonflower PRO membership (valued at $249), a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96), one Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small Tablet (valued at $218) and a 1-year Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud subscription (valued at $240). The grand prize winner will be announced Thursday, June 1, 2017.
  • 04/11/2017: Submissions open
  • 05/16/2017: Submissions close at 3pm EDT
  • 05/18/2017: Public voting opens
  • 05/23/2017: Public voting ends at 3pm EDT to determine top 25 entries
  • 05/25/2017: Spoonflower will announce the winner

 

See the winners from last week. My designs have been in the top half, or top third. But Pomegranates only received 34 votes, placing at #279 of 422. There are 410 entries this week.

 

 

 

 

 

Pouring and Postcards

 

 

Pour #1, acrylic on 4 x 4 gallery wrapped canvas. 2017 Sheila Delgado

Pour #1, acrylic on 4 x 4 gallery wrapped canvas. 2017 Sheila Delgado

Previews of the pours I worked on today. Planned on doing only two in blue, but had enough paint to try a third. In this first pour, I did get some interesting cells. Microscopic, but they do look good in person.

Fingers crossed they survive the drying time. I used thicker paint this time, mixed with water and a few sprays of silicone (WD-40). I did not want huge cells, but I am guessing I could have made them larger by using more silicone. Perhaps the paint needs to be thinned more as well.

The experimenting is fun. I pour the paint from individual containers, and the “dirty pour” technique creates larger cells. I may try that next time. I used my heat gun to bring out the cells. Maybe could have done that longer. So many variables.

Pour #2, acrylic on 4 x 4 gallery wrapped canvas. 2017 Sheila Delgado

Pour #2, acrylic on 4 x 4 gallery wrapped canvas. 2017 Sheila Delgado

None of these from today resemble Angels. Still interesting, and I think I can make them work, with a slight change in focus. I will share them again after they have dried, and let you know what I come up with.

Pour #3, acrylic on 4 x 4 gallery wrapped canvas. 2017 Sheila Delgado

Pour #3, acrylic on 4 x 4 gallery wrapped canvas. 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

LYA SIDE SWAPS

 

With Butter and Syrup, Nan Johnson.

With Butter and Syrup, Nan Johnson.

Doesn’t this card from Nan Johnson make your mouth water?! Nan’s work is amazing. She does fantastic, detailed “home” portraits, beautiful landscapes, and wonderful pet portraits.

Art – Food for the Soul!

I think so as well, and I very much enjoyed the visual feast on Nan’s site. Thanks so much Nan for sharing your art with me, so glad you participated in LYA this year!  You are right, it is a fun swap!

 

Gems, Kat van Rooyen, CZT.

Gems, Kat van Rooyen, CZT.

My good friend Kat surprised me with her Gems. I received her card as an official LYA postcard. Didn’t think I would get another as a side swap. This LYA has been full of surprises! Kat is a Certified Zentangle Teacher.  She tells me these look better in person, but I think they look pretty real on the card. Lots of depth in the colors! Thanks Kat for surprising me with your colorful, wonderful art!

I just love that the LYA art swap is still going strong!

 

Birds and Flowers. Mixed media digital surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Birds and Flowers. Mixed media digital surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

Voting continues in the Spoonflower design challenge. Wanna help me make the top ten? You can only vote once, but you can share the link with friends.

Read more about how this design was created, in yesterday’s post. Thanks for taking the time to vote!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy JOYFUL weekend to you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Daffy About A New Fabric Design

 

 

Fancy Free. 4 x 6 watercolor on paper postcard. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Fancy Free. 4 x 6 watercolor on paper postcard. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

Daffodowndilly

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”

A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

 

A set of quick postcards. Needed to paint. And use up some of that yellow still in the bowl. Thought it would be done for, but there is still enough for another painting or two. (Thanks Christine for the postcard paper!)

Breezy. 4 x 6 watercolor on paper postcard. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Breezy. 4 x 6 watercolor on paper postcard. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

Over A Barrel, digital surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Over A Barrel, digital surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Thanks to everyone who voted for my design! I ended up in the top third! #102 of 354, with 79 votes. To get into the top ten I would have needed 165 votes. That figure is different for each challenge. You can see the winners here. It received many “favorites” from other designers, I was glad for that.

This weeks design challenge theme is “Birds and Blooms”. There are even MORE entries than last week. Spoonflower holds these challenges as part of their “overarching goal: to inspire you, our design community and continue to challenge you to keep creating and growing.”

I neglected to include the prize scale, and a few of you were curious. This is how it works:

One popularly voted grand-prize winner will receive $200 in Spoonflower credit. The 2nd place winner will receive $100 in Spoondollars. The 3rd place winner will receive $50 in Spoondollars. The rest of the top 10 winners will receive $20 in Spoonflower credit. The top 25 popularly voted designs (provided the designers are already verified sellers) will be automatically made available for sale in the Marketplace where they will receive 10% commission on every sale — no $5.00 swatch required! In addition to cash prizes, the top 10 will receive additional exposure in our email newsletters, professional photography of their printed designs, and social media mentions.

Spoonflower has recently changed this. Before, only the number one design received a cash prize.

Birds and Flowers. Mixed media digital surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Birds and Flowers. Mixed media digital surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

In reading the challenge instructions, I found out I goofed. I thought I had read this was a watercolor design. OOPS! Oh well. All of the May themes are to be watercolor, I just got a head start. (Some of the designers made the same mistake.) But no worries. Watercolor is not against the rules. All is well.

Indigo swatches

Indigo swatches

I started my design by painting indigo swatches. You can see a few of them here. I added drops of water to the drying paint to create blooms for texture. In some of the swatches I used a clean, damp brush to lift some of the pigment in a swirl pattern.

In watercolor, a “bloom” happens when wetter paint is placed in dryer paint. The liquid forces the original pigment out, creating irregular shaped splotches.

 

In Photoshop, I “pasted” these swatches to the flower shapes by creating a clipping mask.  My first round, I had just indigo and white flowers. I added a soft blue, a color sample taken from the watercolor. I decided I needed a pop of color, and added orange centers to some of the blooms. Finally I added a lighter shade of that orange to a few of the larger flowers. While I liked the design with all blues and white, the minute I added the warmth it felt finished.

Wanna help me win? I have already received some favorites. Always a nice feeling when fellow designers give you a thumbs up. You have five days to vote. As always, you can only vote once, but you can share the link with friends.

Have a super weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pouring Paint And Raining Postcards

 

 

Acrylic Pour Experiment. 4 x 4 gallery wrapped canvas. 2017 Sheila Delgado

Acrylic Pour Experiment. 4 x 4 gallery wrapped canvas. 2017 Sheila Delgado

Pouring setup.
Cling wrap covered butcher tray. 1 1/4 in. toilet tissue roll. (Canvas stands, so paint can pool underneath.) Mix paint colors with water, a few drops of Iso. Alcohol. Stir well.

Pour color on canvas randomly, tilt to cover canvas front, and create movement.

The lavender were not as successful. I did add more alcohol to the last batch, and I DID get some cells. Left canvas, left side and top right. But I also think I added too much water to some of the colors, and there was not enough separation.

I learned that I can scoop the paint from the tray with the palette knife. And if you tilt the knife towards the side of the canvas (on the top) the paint will drip, and the sides look fully integrated. Just place like colors near each other. (Blue with blue.)

I spent several hours researching pouring techniques. Discovered an amazing artist. Andrea Pramuk. Her method and medium is different, and I do not have the tools she uses. Absolutely love her work!

There are dozens of videos on YouTube of course. Many that I found focus on “Dirty Pours” and creating cells.  A dirty pour is where you mix your colors individually, and then pour them into a single cup, and pour them all on the canvas at once. Cells are sort of “bubbles” of color that stay separate. Very interesting that style, but I had something more… wispy, or airy in mind.

There is a method, or rather several that can be used. One artist went into the mathematical weights of each pigment. He explained how to layer the paints, to get cells easily. There are different mixes, and you can use of course pouring medium. Or Mod Podge. I do not have the medium, but I found a recipe to make your own that I want to try. I meant to try the Mod Podge, but in my excitement, I forgot to open the bottle. Dork.

I am happy with these experiments, even though they are not exactly what I had in mind. I may not use them for the project I am working on, but I think they can be used for something. I have to wait until they dry, and see what, if any changes occur in the process.

 

LYA SIDE SWAP

Sharon-Snap-Lane-LYA-2017-ss

 

This card came to me from Sharon “Snap” Lane. We have been swap buddies for several years. Doesn’t this card just scream Spring!? Woman after my own heart. She has a photo on her site of a gorgeous Hawk that visits her yard. WOW! Lot’s of fun going on over there Snap!

On the back:

A big YEEHAW from Texas!

Bloom where you are planted!

 

Yeehaw! Don’t you just want to run out, get some BBQ and turn on some fiddle music? Not only did Snap send this snappy postcard. She sent four blank cards, that I can send and share! These are by assorted artists. All things I love. (Isn’t that sort of amazing?) And of course, the fish symbolizes abundance.  A wish for all the best.

Don’t think these cards are going to stay blank for long. And you know that those flowers are begging for some fun color!

 

Sharon-Lane-bonus-cards

 

Thank you Snap for swapping with me! You have brightened my day, and your generosity will allow me to pay JOY forward! You might just have my card in your mailbox today!

Tomorrow I will join the Liberate Your Art Blog hop.  I will post a link to the hop, so you can visit the artists blogs and see more of the amazing art that has been shared around the world. I will also post Kat’s card for the participants. Stay tuned!

 

Over A Barrel, digital surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Over A Barrel, digital surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Voting continues until the 18th. I would be so thankful if you could find the time to vote for my Spoonflower Design. See yesterday’s post for details if you missed it. Thanks again!