Do you have a favorite place to rest and relax?
I love the canopy of maple and sycamore trees in my backyard, where I sit on a cushioned swing to rock back and forth while listening to the warble of songbirds.
I decided to create a series of prints on yellow warblers, marvelous songbirds with a voracious appetite for insects, a good thing in the summer time.
My first design is the Nashville Warbler, a lovely little bird with a sprinkle of red in its cap.
I choose a lovely teal background to place the bird in his element: the sky. The design is sketched and refined on a layer in ProCreate [10×10, 300 DPI] based on old prints found in the Archive.org library.
I started out thinking of a folk art “stamp,” but realized that I’d then need to create an extra background layer to “fill” the lines, which is what I did in this design [notice the thick black lines].
For the series, the choice of birds will be yellow warblers sitting on brown branches with two-tone green leaves for consistency. The background will vary, light teal to dark teal.
Planning a consistent design in a series takes time: research for choices, creating each unique sketch, choosing realistic colors for both the bird and the background, and determining various poses that would work together when the series is gathered together.
Palettes, practice sketches, and a variety of ideas result in the final “aha.” I eliminated the berries and bugs, and kept the designs simple: birds in poses on branches with one or two leaves. That would keep the focus on the birds.
This first is one of nine– I can hear the little guy singing now, and I look forward to drawing my next yellow warbler.
Two questions for you:
What is your favorite songbird?
What is your process for creating a series of illustrations?