Technique

Except when specifically stated, the art and photography on this site is of my creation.  I definitely consider myself an artist/designer/illustration before being a writer.  Read on to find out a little about how I work.

Photography…

from…  A Yellow Invitation

I love being outside taking pictures!  I enjoy the observational aspect as well creating interesting and simple compositions.  As of this post, I use a Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, which is a point and shoot camera with a 35X zoom.  I like the convenience of a point and shoot and love the extra zoom of this one for birds, etc.  I got a great shot of a puffed up turkey and reviewed my camera in this post.

My process for posts with photos…  I typically find something that interests me outside, perhaps while taking a walk or while the kids are playing and I snap a bunch of pictures.  It is not unusual to take 100 pictures of which I will delete at least half and only use a handful.  Once in a while I lighten and/or bump up the contrast a touch but usually not.  I often crop to a square format because I like that it appears in its intended format as a thumbnail.  Plus I love squares!  Then I use the images as inspiration for the post idea.

Illustrations…

For illustrated posts I always start with the post idea and writing.  I have 3 basic different illustration styles…

from Rockin’ Songs

Simple black and white line drawings…  I do less of these lately because they take slightly more time.  I create a line drawing with an HB pencil on Letraset A4 marker paper.  Then I ink it with a Pilot Razor Point II, outline it with Pentel Sign Pen, and scan it into my computer.  I find these illustrations to be very popular with the search engines!  Good or bad?  I don’t know.

from Darwin DVDs

Geometric paper cut illustrations I create on the computer…  I do a lot of these because they are super easy to do.  I create an image in PowerPoint using the basic shapes and drawing tools and then save as a PNG file.  Then I either upload right into WordPress or open it in Gimp to make it look more like paper cut art.  I do this by adding an embossed layer underneath which gives the shapes each a slight dimension and a texture overlay to make the shapes look like paper.  I hope to get better at making these look a little less static!

from See with My Ears

Sketchbook style pencil drawings…  These are loose pencil drawings that I add color to in Gimp after scanning.  I am planning to use this style more because I really like the spontaneity!

I have also, on occasion, shared small gouache paintings, sketches create with my Wacom Bamboo tablet, illustrations created in Adobe Illustrator, and photos manipulated in Gimp.

Animations and videos…

From Country Road

Occasionally a still image just won’t do!  I take video clips on my Canon PowerShot SX40 HS and upload them to YouTube.  If it needs editing, first I convert the MOV to WMV with Canon ZoomBrowser EX (which came with my camera) then I edit in Windows Movie Maker.  I also occasionally make basic (and crude) animations in PowerPoint and convert them to WMV files with freeware called Leawo (PowerPoint to Video).

from Is Zeus Angry?

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Anything more you would like to know?  Please ask!

Ann

14 comments

    • Thanks, Maryanne! One of these days I am going to do a basic “special effects” Gimp tutorial.

  1. Ann, Your art, in whatever form, is beautiful. My first experience of it was your Cape Cod book and, truthfully, it was the art that mesmerized me. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent and I look forward to more. I am an amateur photographer and enjoy just snapping and snapping and snapping, too! So many beautiful pictures arrive as a result. The picture on my Handwriting With Katherine Facebook page is one of my personal bests:) Sorry for the long comment….looking for more great Ann Art!!!

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