Grow Tree Birds

I suppose like any other artistic person, I am influenced by other stuff that I see. I want to borrow ideas from them and adapt their techniques to my own ideas and style. Think of it as a journey. It’s an adventure for me to discover new ideas. I get to discover where I’m going to end up. I don’t always know what a drawing or creation will look like when I begin. I have an idea, but I do not possess the ability to create exactly what I see in my mind. Perhaps the reason why I like to draw new ideas is it’s a surprise to me, too! It’s a challenge. When it turns out, I feel good.

I want to feel good. If that’s selfish, then I’m selfish!

I’ll take you through an example of a recent project I’ve been playing with. It’s not quite done just yet, but I wanted to show you all something interesting, since a few of my recent posts have been poopoo.

So one of our more popular designs has been the Grow yoga. I don’t do yoga myself, but I felt like sketching a yoga gal one evening a couple years ago. We put it on a shirt and people liked it. Funny, because it was kind of an exploratory style for me. After a couple of seasons with Grow, I reworked the graphic with some updated artwork this past spring. I tweaked the tree and restyled the shading. Then we introduced the updated design on tank tops, which gals seem to like:

Grow Yoga Tank Top by Crock of Shirt

I was recently inspired by a book jacket. (I take photos of inspiring stuff all the time with my phone – book jackets, magazine photos, coffee packaging, signs, etc.) The jacket design featured geometric shapes that morphed into birds taking flight. I suddenly thought about our yoga tree and decided to incorporate birds. But instead of yoga, I wanted just birds put together like a jigsaw puzzle, yet pieced together to appear like the leaves of a tree. The birds taking flight would be the giveaway that the leaves of the tree were made up of birds. Get it?

Step 1: Get inspired! This is the book jacket that inspired my latest work. This is not my artwork.

Book jacket with birds graphic

Step 2: Though a couple of my birds look similar, I did not trace from my inspiration. Tracing is for suckers. It was very time-consuming to piece together the birds into a massive jigsaw puzzle. We had company over for supper and drinks that night, so I sipped wine while sketching.

Tree design made up of birds like a puzzle

Step 3: Into the computer for manual tracing! I said tracing was for suckers, but I meant tracing work that isn’t yours. If it’s your own work, trace away! I traced my pencil lines in the computer to convert to digital.

Tree design made up of birds like a puzzle

Step 4: After all the birds were traced, I imported the Grow Yoga tree to the layer underneath. This allowed me to line up how I wanted the tree trunk and branches to line up. You can see the female figure doing the tree pose in the artwork, right?

Tree design made up of birds like a puzzle

Step 5: This is where I filled in the bird shapes and modified the lower branches of the tree. Then shadows were added.

Tree design made up of birds like a puzzle

Step 6: I then threw in some color. After looking at the image for a bit, something was bothering me. I played around a little and adjusted it to make the tree canopy more round.

Tree design made up of birds like a puzzle

Well, that’s as far as I have gotten at the time of this writing. Yes, I probably should have waited to write the post upon completion of the graphic, but I wanted to get this out to you. I might make some little changes here and there, as I still haven’t decided if I’m nearly finished with this or not. I will definitely tweak the roots of the tree a bit more, as they are currently blocked out with temporary white mask shapes. I really like the concept of this, so I’m sure we will have a completed sample soon – stay tuned!

Do you like it? Write a comment!

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Posted in Art, Shirts

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