Mumbai Waterfront Property | Part 1

By heather at 1:57 am on Friday, February 26, 2010

heather castles acrylic painting india mumbai waterfront

I’ve just started on a new painting for our living room from a photo we took in Mumbai, India three years ago (below.) I’m working with acrylic as they are safer to work with around my toddler than oils. And we can share so setup isn’t a big deal a squirt of paint for Hera, and a squirt of paint for Mommy! The only challenge is keeping Hera from helping me paint my painting, hee hee. The lovely thing about working in acrylic is it dries so quickly, so I’m able to hang it right back up on the wall and be able to consider my next “moves” between paint sittings.

heather castles photo india mumbai waterfront slum

hera castles toddler painting

As you can see, after about 40 minutes Hera was tuckered out, so was a very short & sweet painting time!

Tip : Something I learned from Kiff Holland while in college, painting your canvas a bold colour to prime it gives you a fun surface to work on. As you paint over top, leave little flecks of the original bright colour peeking through here and there to give some zing to your painting!

heather castles acrylic painting india mumbai waterfront

Filed under: work in progress, illustrations2 Comments »

Tutorial | How to colour an ink drawing in Photoshop

By heather at 1:32 am on Monday, February 15, 2010

heather castles hera baby clothes illustration red polka dot dress

I just finished this illustration for my diary of Hera’s stuff, and thought I’d share the simple technique I use for colouring pen illustrations in Photoshop. Clicking on the images below will bring up a close-up image.
heather castles tutorial pen illustration digital colour

Step 1 | Open the scan of your drawing in Photoshop, and create two new layers below it. One will be your background colour (I’ve used white here), and the other will be for painting in the colours of your drawing.

heather castles tutorial pen illustration digital colour

Step 2 | Adjust the brightness and contrast until the paper is as white as possible.

heather castles tutorial pen illustration digital colour

Step 3 | Select the background of the sketch with the magic wand tool, and delete it. Make sure all little bits of paper speckle are removed so the colour comes out nice and clean.

heather castles tutorial pen illustration digital colour

Step 4 | Set the drawing layer to Multiply. This will allow the colours below to show through your drawing, and make the pen work come out nice and dark as it multiplies over the colours below.

heather castles tutorial pen illustration digital colour

Step 5 | Use the magic wand tool to select the background of the sketch. Then invert the selection so that you have only the drawing selected. Feather the edges of the selection (Menu Bar > Select > Feather.) Click on the blank layer below the sketch (multiply) layer and fill the entire sketch with a predominant colour.

heather castles tutorial pen illustration digital colour

Step 6 | From here in, apply colour to this colouring layer whichever way you feel comfortable. Applying colour on its own layer(s) makes it easy to adjust the colours later while keeping your drawing in its original condition.I use a combination of the paintbrush and the magic wand / lassoo tools to select areas from the sketch and fill with colour. You can experiment and go as elaborate as you want with colour, shade and textures.

Filed under: work in progress, illustrations, tutorials4 Comments »

Camping at Bookie Cliffs, SA

By heather at 1:31 am on Friday, February 5, 2010

heather castles bookie cliffs watercolour landscape

We often go camping on the Murray River in Berri, SA at Bookie Cliffs… the water’s as brown and murky as can be, but being the only fresh water to swim in around here, not to mention the beautiful red and yellow cliff face, it’s a welcome change of scenery. Last weekend when we made the trip again, I brought along my watercolours and managed to squeeze in an hour long study of the cliffs. I don’t get many chances to study landscapes on site, was fun making the most of Hera’s naptime! After that, Hera was very keen to “paint” with mommy on the beach, and that I paint “e mama bear e baby bear” holding “hands.” I even had a bit of fun sketching her while she enthusiastically flipped through my Australian bird guide…. until she noticed that what I was doing was more interesting than what she was doing and insisted that I draw her “hand,” which I was all to happy to oblige.

heather castles hera baby camping sketch

heather castles hera baby camping sketch

Filed under: sketches, illustrations Leave A Comment »

Riley’s Lost Tooth | Animated Trailer!

By heather at 3:07 am on Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wow, I just watched the trailer for Riley’s Lost Tooth… I’ve never had an animated trailer made of my work before, is a bit weird and cool at the same time seeing your characters come alive and move! Here’s the Riley’s Lost Tooth trailer on YouTube. RLT is currently at the printer, am waiting eagerly to see how the finished product turns out!

Filed under: illustrations, childrens books, Riley's Lost Tooth3 Comments »