Patreon!

If you’re on my mailing list, you already got this news, but…. I’m starting a Patreon for my art!

For those unfamiliar, Patreon is a site artists and creators of every variety use to fund their work. In my case, this means helping me switch to part time work at my day job, so I can spend an extra day a week on art.

My Patreon page will be a place to get all sorts of art sneak peeks of larger projects I’m working on (like Boneflower!), reviews I do of art supplies and other fun things, and a great place to get some neat rewards for supporting me, too, like monthly or quarterly signed art print postcards.

Got your interest piqued?

Check it out!

https://www.patreon.com/clairewhitmore

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I’d love to see you over there. 🙂

Thanks!

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Dover Publications Poetry Illustrations… Sneak Peak!

Hello folks,

Fall is… falling. The dark weather has me in a big of a funk, and the recent rainy, cloudy days on top of already short ones has me missing summer mightily. But c’est la vie.

I’ve spent September and October working on a series of illustrations for an upcoming poetry collection by Dover Publications, and despite the oncoming winter blues, I’m stoked about it. You should be, too, as it’s a collection of classic women poets and some of their best work to boot.

It’ll be coming out in February and will contain 25 black and white illustrations for select poems done by yours truly. I’ll make sure to post and let you know the details when it’s out!

Here’s a sneak preview of a few of the illustrations, just for you. 🙂

 

 

 

A Game of 20 Questions…

Or maybe not 20. But some questions, nonetheless!

While I was talking about my most recent CC:Otherworlds illustration, and mentioning that I go about things a bit backwards from a lot of artists, starting in Photoshop and ending in traditional media, a friend recently asked me for an explanation of my typical art process. I thought I’d share some of the answers. 🙂

These examples are from my most recent CC:Otherworlds illustration. The prompt for that fortnight (#13) was “Unravel.”

  1. I typically start out with a really rough thumbnail sketch done in pencil or ink. And by rough, I mean *rough.* Things things ain’t pretty. Example: IMG_20170301_061620
  2. This little sketchy stage doesn’t last too long, though. Next, I bring the entire thing into Photoshop. I don’t usually even bother to scan my doodle– a cell phone pic works just fine, since I’m not interested in preserving any of its ~beauty~ just its rough content.
  3. Once in Photoshop, I rough-out a layout and composition. This doesn’t need to be perfect, but the ‘big ideas’ need to be hashed out. Where will the figures be? What is at the center? What aspects of “flow” are in place to make sure the viewer sees what I want them to see when they look at it? Also in this phase I do some color studies, and get a general feel for what direction I’ll take the painting once I do it for real. A thing that is sometimes confusing is that all of this? Just prep work. None of this will be in the final painting. Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 7.46.41 PM
  4. But now I have to get this entirely digital image… and make it into a traditional media painting! That means transferring it onto paper… It’s not as complicated as it seems. 🙂 I just print off the line drawing at the correct scale, and tape it to the back of my watercolor paper of choice (in this case, a hotpress 140lb paper that’s lovely and smooth) and trace over my computer sketch with pencil.
  5.  After that, it’s just a matter of painting. For this piece I used watercolors and colored pencils. IMG_20170309_061625
  6. And here’s the final painting! CCO13 - Unravel Final

Do you have any questions about my general process, or how I do things? Let me know! I LOVE answering questions and talking about art. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

The Birth of a Dream… (book)

(Forgive the punny title. I couldn’t help myself.)

The Dreambook project is something I’ve had brewing on my (plentiful) artistic back burners for quite awhile now. I’m excited to share that the beginning stages of it are finally coming together!

Back up there, Claire. Dreambook? Say what now?

You heard right! I am the frequent recipient of extremely bizarre, often cinematic, weirdly poetic dreams. They’re not dreams about lost locker combinations, or missed buses. They’re dreams about oceans tides pulling and pushing us towards certain physical destinations, about men lost in alternate universes calling for help through radios, about dragons lurking inside all of us waiting to claw themselves free…

I’ve always known I wanted to do a project based on some of my choicer dreams, but for a long time I wasn’t sure what format. Several dreams I wrote down as short stories. And while they were interesting, they lacked the visual element that is so important to the dreams themselves.

Thus… Dreambook.

Dreambook itself is still a long ways out from being a completed thing (more on THAT later!) But what I’m working on right now is a demo, if you will. A single dream put into one of the several types of formats I would use for the book, to showcase what Dreambook can be. That is what I’m working on right now, and what (soon, hopefully) I’ll be able to share with you!

Want to see my progress so far?

This was my first ever storyboard for the specific dream I’ll be using in the demo (informally called Dragon Scales for the moment):

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But a few images do not a story make. So I began to break out more and more, creating a plan for a 6-8 page comic.

A little more work in trusty Photoshop now leaves me with a rough layout and plan of attack!

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That leaves me with what’s left: both the fun and the hard part… making the above ‘plan’ into a finished piece.

Despite the clean lines and gray scale of the sketches above, that will not be the look of the final product. My current plan is to use loose pencil lines, watercolor, and gouache, to create an otherworldly, mysterious, and somewhat sinister look, similar to my original test.

If you are curious about my progress on this project, make sure to check out my instagram feed – seeclairedraw. I post there 2-3 times per week.

Thanks for reading!

Capricon 37!

Capricon 37 is here! This annual sci fi and fantasy convention also has a killer art show (run this year by a lovely friend, Sam Press) where my things will be for sale.

This will be my second year showing and selling at Capricon. I’ll have a number of original paintings and drawings for sale, as well as prints (both new and old).

This year I upgraded my prints from just bags, to mats and bags, and they look (I have to say) pretty killer. Here’s a pic of my work-in-progress getting prepped… the cat supervised. 😉

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And here’s the collection of prints that will be for sale. Smaller size is selling for $15 and the larger for $20. Also for sale will be one run of postcards, and 2 card designs.

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If you’ll be in the Chicago area this weekend, check it out!

Interested in buying my stuff but nowhere near Chicago this weekend?

Not to worry! When the convention is over and I know what quantities are left, I’ll be updating my Etsy page and sharing the link here. 🙂

 

Life Drawing

I recently signed up for a life drawing class. Well, session is more accurate– it’s much more about spending time with your art and learning from drawing a figure than it is about instruction.

I used to go to drop in life drawing sessions back when I lived in Minnesota, but since moving to Madison (nearly four years ago, ouch) I’d fallen entirely out of the habit.

Nothing like a fresh year to correct that. 🙂

This class is put on by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Continuing Education Department, and is one of several art classes they offer.

Here’s some of the results of my last 3 weeks attending. Some are more successful than others… but that’s half the point. How else do you learn? 🙂

It’s a Bony Tale…

My go-to medium has been, for the last several years, watercolor and ink. Sometimes it’s watercolor and graphite, and sometimes lately I’ve been playing with gouache, too. But I’ve become a bit predictable.

Which meant it was time to shake things up.

I busted out my oil set (dusted off, more like…) and got to work on something with several components that seriously pushed me out of my comfort zone. The final painting is oil on board, with gold leaf accents. I haven’t touched any of that in years.

But before I got that far, I had to figure out a plan. In this case, the piece is a gift for my mom, who broke her humerus arm bone in a nasty spot last April. I wanted to paint that bone for her in a semi-medieval-inspired style of painting (smooth oil on board) but with gold where the break was… somewhat like the Japanese pottery tradition, where cracks are in-filled with gold, not just repairing a break, but making it beautiful. 

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My original sketch (made with watercolor pencils on paper) served as my rough template and guide. From there, I sketched out my plan of attack on my final surface — a piece of plywood with several layers of gesso applied as a base.

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With my rough-in determined, I started painting with oils. They are a fun, slippery, strange medium, and I’m determined to play with them more! None of my brushes were soft enough to achieve the silky-smooth finish (and that vaguely macabre, medieval look) I was looking for, so I actually went over the original brush strokes with two of my makeup brushes. Weird, but it worked!

Oil paints take up to a week to fully dry, so I played the waiting game before I was able to put on the gold leaf. Once it was ready, I placed white acrylic paint in the places I wanted the gold leaf to end up with a stucco texture, and used a gold ink as a base. Then, I applied the gold leaf.

And this is the end of this painting’s story! Once it cures for a few weeks I’ll give it its final touch: a layer of varnish, and then delivery to its recipient.

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Rapunzel – WIP 1

I’m working on a couple of things simultaneously right now, but one of my current projects is taking the fairy tale Rapunzel and updating it into an urban fantasy setting. Mostly that means I get to draw lots of hair. Luckily, that is okay by me. 😉

Here are some in-progress pictures.

Like all drawings (ought to a least…), it started with thumnails. A few years ago I took an online class from Chris Oatly called Painting Drama I; the main thing I took away was the importance of strong composition and structure and (you guessed it) thumbnails!

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And here’s the sketch I built off of it. As you can see, I made some composition changes along the way.

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But a thumbnail and a sketch do not a painting make. So on to the inking stage! I am lucky enough to have a Monoprice light table that two dear friends got for me last Christmas. It rocks, is ultra thin, and makes tracing your work from pencil (or in this case sharpie…) sketch to final inks a breeze. My previous set up involved a Tupperware box, a broken lamp, and a scanner bed duct-taped over it covered in tracing paper. Let’s just say this was an upgrade.

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And finally, the stage I’m currently in: painting.

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