guest post: rachel sullivan | EMMY COLETTI

Social icons

guest post: rachel sullivan

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
I'm super excited for this, because I love Rachel's artwork! I actually already have this print hanging up in my kitchen, and I'd love to get a custom pet portrait of Trixie! They are seriously so cute. Thanks Rachel for sharing your process! Without further ado...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hello everyone! I'm super excited to be doing a post on Emily's blog. 
Over at my site I post a lot of illustration in addition to lifestyle and fashion things, and today I'm going to show you all a step-by-step process of how I work! I usually do funky fashiony art, but I decided to get back to my roots and do a bit of naturey storybook art for this post. The illustration I'm creating here is intended as a mock book cover for "The Secret Garden."

1. First I do a sketch. This is often in my sketchbook, but sometimes on a sheet of printer paper like I did here. In the top right you can see my thumbnail where I solidified the composition.

2. I then take a crappy cell phone picture of my sketch and bring it into photoshop, where I resize it to whatever size I want for the final. It doesn't matter if this looks blurry, and I don't really even care what paper it's on (hence the purple), because I'm going to trace the sketch to get nice clean lines.

3. I use a makeshift light table consisting of a tall lamp with no shade and a piece of plexiglass to trace my lines onto some watercolor paper. I use the professional grade Strathmore that you can find at craft stores because it's affordable and produces nice results. If I had my way, though, it'd be all Arches all the time! I do these lines with a pencil.

4. Now's when I start painting! I start with the skin (entirely out of habit), and lay in the basic background colors if there are any. The paints I use are a mixture of Van Gogh and Winsor Newton watercolors, and Winsor Newton gouaches. I also use this awesome opaque ink that I dilute.

5. I lay in more colors.

6. You can see things starting to come together at this point!

7. And here's the final painting.

8. I then scan it in using my home scanner. This is what an unedited scan looks like right after it's been imported!

9. And finally, here's the finished product! I adjust the levels, saturation, and contrast to make it look as true to life as possible, then I resize it for the internet and slap my watermark on it. This particular one will have text added to it digitally later, but that's pretty unusual for my work.

I hope you guys enjoyed this peek into my process! If you want to see more of my work, I update my tumblr frequently, and sell prints and custom portraits in my shop.

5 comments on "guest post: rachel sullivan"
  1. Ah! I love it. It inspires me to get my art on.

  2. Wow Rachel! That is neat to see your work flow :)

  3. I LOVED seeing the whole process, what a cool post it looks wonderful!

  4. this is so amazing, rachel! i love seeing a project from start to finish and this makes me love your work even more. i think this is a perfect cover for the secret garden— be still my heart!

  5. this was amazing and super inspirational to me seeing the diff steps and hearing about the process! makes me think maybe w/ some work my stick figures could look ok... oh just kidding : ). Rachel is so amazing!


Talk to me!

Auto Post Signature

Auto Post  Signature