Watercolor Wednesday

2014 New England SCBWI Conference Logo © Denise OrtakalesAlthough I love working in my three-dimensional paper sculpture style, I am feeling a little 2D envy. It would be so nice to just scan artwork and send it to a client. Now I have nothing against my photographer (love you, Tim!) but it’s an extra step that costs a few bucks and a day out of my deadline. Sometimes I just need that extra day! And dang it, they take up room! Most illustrators can fit a picturebook’s worth of spreads in a drawer. My stack stand 3-4 feet tall. 😦

2014 New England SCBWI Conference Logo © Denise OrtakalesSo, last spring I tagged along to a watercolor class with Mother- and Sister-in-law. It’s a continuing education class so it’s low stress, taught by the mahvulous Mary Lou John.  I also started doing a few samples for a 2D portfolio in acrylic just to see if it was something I’d like. Being so unpredictable, the watercolors were just for play, the acrylics were for possible work.

2014 New England SCBWI Conference Logo © Denise Ortakales

Last summer I was asked to do an illustration to use as a logo for a conference I was attending, the 2014 New England SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Conference. Since the theme of the conference was Create Bravely, I decided to try w/c for the logo. Everyone seemed happy with it. Me, I was pleased I didn’t botch it. I also included a few spot illos. But the time the conference came around, I was over my 2D envy and recommitted to my paper craft.

2014 New England SCBWI Conference Logo © Denise Ortakales

Well, wouldn’t you know, an Art Director—one that I’ve worked with before and knew my work—was surprised that I had done the logo and wondered if I had more samples in watercolor; she really liked them! I had done the few odd pieces over the years, and a few nice things came out of the watercolor class, but no illustration work. So that’s what I’ll be working on over the summer. I’ll post some of my older work, my classwork and hopefully new work. W/C is so unpredictable it’s scary but there’s also those serendipitous moments that take your breath away. So join me on Wednesdays as I embark on another adventure, the wet and juicy world of watercolor.

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