Hand-painted to Digital: The Process

I’m an old school paper, brushes, and paint gal. I’m pretty tech savvy and can hold my own with software, but digital art is a learning curve I’m still working to master. Imagine my delight when a client wanted a hand-painted header for her website! Be still my heart.

Everything was the same almost to the end when the header needed to be placed in its digital home. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at my process:

First, brainstorming ideas.


Once we settled on an arrangement, I made the rough on vellum in pencil so we could move things around if needed. She wanted me to add ferns. 

ME_Template                       FernPlacement


Then the fun stuff – choosing and mixing colors.

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Once the palette is approved the image is transferred onto paper, and I start painting. I like to work in small increments  – making a mistake means starting over, and I want to avoid that.



When I’m not sure about an idea or stroke I’ll test it on the sidelines until I’m confident. I’ll play with a new idea and doodle with the paint until I find something I like. My clean palette looks like this by the end of the project.



It’s exciting to see it come to life bit by bit! I work with like colors in the same sitting, if I can, for consistency.





Sometimes things don’t go so smoothly.
See that extra piece of greenery top right? Directly below it I smudged the paint with my hand. Up top I re-recreated that section then used Photoshop magic to replace the smudged area with the clean version.

Once the original is finished, I erase all the pencil lines then scan it into the computer. My beast photographic scanner gives me super high resolution options to make sure details aren’t lost in the transfer. Then it’s time to remove the background paper in Photoshop. The aqua background is in place to illuminate any spots I might miss. (Yes, I am working upside down. I’ll also use my other hand when necessary to reach tight spots.)

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Once I’m happy it’s saved so we can add text.  And it’s a wrap!

An Ah-ha Moment

I’m super happy  to have an entire room to call my studio, but, lately I’ve been frustrated. I need more room to work.  I’ll have a small window of time to sew and I don’t accomplish anything, because my table is full of stuff. Right now, it looks like this:

Not too bad as far as messes go, but  I have to shove things around and pile them on the floor to have enough room to work. I even bought another one of those little fold up tables so I could have an “island” of extra room when I need it… except there’s nowhere to put it without tripping over something else. Ugh. I have this wonderful room all to myself, but I’m not using the space very efficiently.

Yesterday I was perusing my Pinterest boards and came across this picture from Kim Klassen’s studio. I love her space and it’s charm! Then it hit me – I have ONE shelf – and plenty of room to add another one right below it. Eureka!


Today I took my little self to the DIY store and bought some more brackets and a  piece of lumber. I’ll have to move my magnetic chalk board, and the space over my computer is usually where I hang my storyboards, but sacrifices have to be made if I want to be productive, right? My goal is to reorganize that wall so I have what I need at hand and empty table space in order to spend time playing instead of shoving.And while I’m moving things…. I’m thinking about painting. Maybe. We’ll see.

Studio Sneak Peek: Santa’s Watching

It’s getting crazy in the studio. FIVE days until my upcoming show. I see cereal for dinner in our future!! Yikes!  It’s been a crazy, emotional, roller-coaster week, and on top of that I have a horrible head cold. Haven’t made the progress I would like, but I’m basking in all the colors swirling around my world.

Oh! And a package arrived from the North Pole with this little guy riding inside. I have no idea which Santa sent him, but his arrival totally made my week. Don’t you love unexpected fun stuff? I named him Clarence, and Hurley’s been warned to get his doggy act together – quick. Santa’s watching. 😉

Studio JRU hosts this link-up every Friday. Take a peek at what’s buzzing in the other studios this week! 

Studio Sneak Peek: Show Prep and Fun Stuff

This week in the studio…
Reveal:  These are the super fun place mats I made for my Secret Santa partner.
I loved them so much I made some for myself.
I’ve been sewing and planning like a fiend to prepare for an upcoming show.
I love looking at this pretty pile of things to be quilted!


I had a blast making a bunch of these blocks…
And I whipped up one of these to corral the plastic bags… it was getting out of control. This little gem holds a gazillion bags and looks a lot better than my old “system”.
I did all of that while cooking and dressing the house up for Thanksgiving! I’m thoroughly enjoying my non-student status and the time to decorate and pay attention to details here at home. Happy happy.   ♥
My Black Friday shopping is complete, and now it’s time to get back to work in the studio… maybe after a nap.StudioJRU
Studio JRU hosts this link-up every Friday. Take a peek at what’s buzzing in the other studios!

Studio Sneak Peek: Playing Elf, Handwork and New Things

I’ve been playing elf for my Secret Santa partner, making something fun from these…
I accomplished a LOT on these two hand projects while the Hunk and I drove north, and I’m trying to keep up the momentum. I really really want to use them soon!  

I’m so excited I could POP!

First, another gal and I are working hard to bring the modern quilt movement to the Peninsula. We’re starting the first modern quilt guild here, and it will be fabulous! Our first meeting is slated for January and I can’t wait!

 AND…. B*Joyful Studio is getting a new look! I’ve toyed with the idea for awhile, but it felt like a lot… I’m still getting used to the shop – there is soooo much to learn! But I wanted a cohesive look that was all me. I discovered Christine McDermott at Great Oak Circle, and she was pleased as punch to collaborate with me in order to make it all happen. Phone calls, texts and emails are flying – it’s like creative lightening. 😀

How about you? 



Studio JRU hosts this link-up every Friday. Take a peek at what’s buzzing in the other studios! 

Valentines 2012

Last year my theme was Love Letters, and this year I decided to expand on that theme. So I give you Love Letters II:

I made a list of sentiments, trying to come up with four fun puns. After they were all finished, I lined the kids’ Valentines up in a row to take a picture and noticed a happy accident….

I hope your Valentines Day is full of fun surprises!