We knew from the beginning that we wanted to submit a piece to Artworks Detroit that spoke to the pride of living in and around Detroit. Our vision came from the way empty yet overgrown fields in the city can invoke all kinds of feelings in those who happen upon them.
After selecting a canvas that had been properly treated to accept watercolor, we traced on the letterforms using guidance from a very old set of die-cuts and used masking fluid to keep them white while painting around them. At different stages of the painting process the masking fluid was lifted to paint over the letters or to check to be sure the contrast was coming through appropriately.
The whole process was quite an experience, as we’d never used a watercolor canvas before and it performs much differently than regular paper. But we are quite happy with the end result and are hopeful it will sell at auction so that the proceeds will go towards those in need.
Among our first custom projects is this card for Amanda, who wanted a custom card to congratulate her brother and his bride on their wedding day. They happen to affectionately refer to one another as “moose” and “bear” which made for the opportunity to add some illustrations. The background is ink blended onto a wood grain texture that was stamped with embossing ink and treated with clear embossing powder to create a resist effect.
All illustrated and lettered elements were executed by hand using either a kuretake fude pen or pentel pocket brush pen, then colored in using copic markers. I sincerely hope all our custom card orders continue to be as adorable as this one!
On deck we have a number of watercolor commissions and embossed trinkets to go out, plus I just finished a set of bachelorette invites that I’m particularly pumped about. I bought this tattoo printer paper that is supposed to work pretty well, as I thought it’d be fun to include in the gift bags – then I thought I mind start offering it as a store item as well if it works out! So more on that later.
Also also also I’ve got a bunch of holiday card ideas started already because it seemed practical. I think they will all start as hand lettered illustrations, go through digital, come out as prints, and I will add embellishments/embossing. Will bring down the cost and I can do sets. More on that later as well.
Okay done rambling! So happy to be up and running, yay!
To shop some of the items used while making this card, check the links below:
As I write my first blog post, this website is behind password protection and no where near close to being done – but I want to have a little something up and ready for when the time comes. I may even have some other posts done and up before launch, depending on how smoothly this goes. But for now, the time is right for me to pen my first post on Pigmentology’s first blog, and so it goes.
I started this little shop with the purpose of wanting to truly dedicate myself to my craft. Though I’d been largely focused on what it means to be a “digital designer” for a long time, I had always been taught to start design processes with pencil and paper. My teachers and professors were the last of the true designers who worked the “copy and paste” hands-on graphic design industry methods that were required of their technologically stunted age and they thought it an important trade to pass on to me and my classmates.
As a result, I know that the hand and the eye informs everything important about the process. The digital is a tool, not a solution.
I’ve learned so much about how to cross those lines, what relying on tech too much means to me, or what it does/doesn’t do for me. I love technology so much that I thought it was all I ever wanted to work with, until I realized the tactile nature of hands-on lettering and illustration is where my fulfillment lies.
Through the study of pigments and inks, how they move and interact, which brushes create the best effects, I find vibrancy and growth, focus and positivity.
If you are reading this, welcome – and thank you for starting this journey with me. I hope this can be a transformative space where I can share some things about how we work and what we do and maybe we can learn and grow together.