Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Making of Winter Snowscape

This week, I thought I'd share something I had previously shared on my personal website -- a step-by-step progression of an artwork I created in Bryce several years ago.

During the Christmas season, 2007, I spent a lot of time listening to Jethro Tull's Christmas Album (long story short - Eric, my new husband, couldn't be with me and that album was the first Christmas present he ever bought me, so it brought him nearer to listen to it).

As I was listening to it, I thought how much I liked the cover art. It would be really interesting, I thought, to see if I could recreate it, or at least evoke the feel of it, in Bryce.

 The first challenge - finding a Bryce building that looked similar to the one in the inspiration piece. This one needed work, but I felt it had potential. It was a freebie at the now-defunct 3D Commune, I think.

I even found a decent texture that simulated the brickwork - another freebie.

Next I had to add some scenery and make it wintery.

Ah, those lovely Bryce trees.... can't have a landscape without trees. (This was before I got Vue  and it's wonderful ecosystem feature)

The next step was to play around with the atmosphere and find the right lighting for the scene. I was getting close in here, but hadn't quite captured the feel I wanted.

Since this is a village, more buildings to add - all freebies from various websites around the 'Net.

More wintery trees to fill out the scene. (I think I even paid for a package of winter trees and textures, from Renderosity)

By this point,  I think I had the right lighting - it sort of looks like the album cover in the first picture doesn't it? (Humor me, please)  Now it was time to add more detail -- figures and buildings -- to fill out the scene.

Spot the difference... (one of the figures is pulling a sled, if you're wondering)

More figures, including a horse and sleigh created in DAZ|Studio complete the scene.

So there we have the final Bryce render. I called the scene Winter Snowscape.  I know these thumbnails make it hard to see the details, so you can click on the image above to see a larger version.

"Winter Snowscape" (see below) was one of the first cards I created for my Zazzle store, 3D Designs by Jayne - quite an advance from the Christmas of 2007, when I originally created the artwork and I printed it out myself on card stock and mailed it out as that year's personal Christmas cards!
Winter Snowscape Christmas Card zazzle_card
Winter Snowscape Christmas Card by 3DDesignsByJayne
Browse other Greetings Cards

Can you spot the little added detail on the front of the card in my store? Look closely at the bottom left hand corner and you'll see Ian Anderson, playing his flute.
So now tell me, did I capture the essence of the album cover of my inspiration?

You be the judge....

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Winged Wonders

I was out in the garden yesterday, enjoying the beautiful weather, when some movement caught my eye in the new island bed we built earlier this year.

When I looked closer, I saw this little skipper butterfly on the lovely pink Marguerite Daisies. I grabbed the camera and bent and twisted every which way to get a photo of it -- it's in the middle of the island bed and I didn't want to trample anything, or spook the butterfly, plus of course, getting it in focus was a necessity!

In an attempt to transform the photo from "ordinary" to "artistic" I originally tried a couple of techniques to add a pen and ink overlay to this image and give it a sumi-e effect.  But realized the image is a little to busy for that to work well.

Since I had already created a layer with the dry brush filter and liked how it looked, I decided to go with that effect for the image.

The detail really shows up nicely on this poster, but I'll be adding it to other products as well - I'm thinking mouse pads, iPad sleeves etc.  Lots of possibilities :-)
Pink Marguerite Daisies Poster zazzle_print
Pink Marguerite Daisies Poster by 3DDesignsByJayne
View other Pink flowers Posters

I myself garden for wildlife and butterflies, so they are near and dear to my heart.  I'm certainly going to take an afternoon to go through iPhoto on my computer and see what other photos I can use in my designs.

In the meantime, here are some items from my fellow artists and designers at Zazzle, each featuring beautiful butterflies and flowers.

I love this pillow, featuring purple butterflies on a branch by LorrieM - the color is just lovely and would look great on a sofa or in the bedroom.
Purple Butterflies on a Branch American MoJo mojo_throwpillow
Purple Butterflies on a Branch American MoJo by LorrieM
View more throw pillows.

One of my favorite butterflies is the Monarch.  Our garden is filled with tropical milkweed, the host plant of the Monarch butterfly and each year I keep on the look out for them and the eggs they lay which then grow into caterpillars.

This great laptop sleeve by Butterfliesarebloomin features a regal monarch butterfly on some milkweed. 

The King of Butterflies -- The Monarch Butterfly fuji_electronicsbag
The King of Butterflies -- The Monarch Butterfly by Butterflysarebloomin
View more laptop accessories at

I've never been lucky enough to see the metamorphosis from chrysalis to  butterfly, but this lovely mouse pad by WildBliss reminds us that "Without change, there would be no butterflies."

Without Change Butterflies Mousepad zazzle_mousepad
Without Change Butterflies Mousepad by WildBliss

Being a gardener, one of my weekly chores is to make sure weeds aren't taking over my garden.  The quotation on this mouse pad is particularly appropriate - it reminds me that even weeds are beautiful flowers if I look at them through joyful eyes :-)

Flower is a Weed Butterfly Mousepad zazzle_mousepad
Flower is a Weed Butterfly Mousepad by WildBliss

I love this customizable card from Memory Lane.  It's vintage-looking and you can customize it for any occasion and any recipient.  Gardeners, nature lovers or any one would appreciate this card for birthday and other occasions.
Butterflies in Flight - Customize zazzle_card
Butterflies in Flight - Customize by Memory_Lane

I'm sure there are a million and one other items that have been designed using images of these Winged Wonders we see around us.  I'm going to create some more items with my Pink Daisy image and then I'm going to look for some more butterfly pics in my iPhoto collection.

Happy Earth Day! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's Spring in Texas - and that means Bluebonnets!

It's spring in Texas - and that means bluebonnets.

I've been wanting to create a landscape with bluebonnets since I first got Vue, but I don't think there's such a thing as a bluebonnet plant available for Vue.

So, having taken an intro course at LVS last year, where the use of alpha planes was covered (I think that was what they were called), this weekend I took one of my photos of a bluebonnet, played around with it and created a bluebonnet billboard that I added to Eco Painter and used in this render.

I'm rather pleased with how it came out, even though there's not much to it.

To start out, I just used it to create a greeting card which can be customized for any occasion, but I see lots of possibilities for this design -- place mats, pillows, postcards, posters... the list goes on :-)

Field of Bluebonnets Greeting Card zazzle_card
Field of Bluebonnets Greeting Card by 3DDesignsByJayne

Here are some more designs featuring bluebonnets, from my fellow artists and designers at Zazzle.

I love the old red barn in this photo of a field of bluebonnets.
Texas Bluebonnets zazzle_print
Texas Bluebonnets by providencephoto

Wouldn't this mug make a nice gift or souvenir of Texas? Texas Bluebonnet Mug zazzle_mug
Texas Bluebonnet Mug by katkramer

This mouse pad is sure to bring a touch of Texas to your office.
Texas Bluebonnets zazzle_mousepad
Texas Bluebonnets by psmart

Send your friends a little bit o'Texas with these postcards featuring bluebonnets and other spring wildflowers.

And finally, here's a postcard I created with some photos I took of bluebonnets and other wildflowers, just a couple of weeks ago.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Postcards as Art

I read on another blog recently how postcards are a great way to collect art without spending a fortune. It struck me as a great idea -- and then I realized I already knew it, lol!

Just inside the front door of our house is a collection of framed postcards featuring historical pen and ink drawings of the village in England that I grew up in. I've got them framed separately, in identical 5 x 7 frames, and they are grouped in a collection on the wall.

I could probably have mounted them together in a large shadow box.  I did that once with inlaid wood drink coasters and it made a lovely display on the wall (until it fell and broke). Postcards wouldn't be so heavy, and with a suitable method of hanging, I'm sure it would be a lot more secure!

Below is a postcard featuring my first ever artwork that I created in the 3D graphic program Bryce.  I did this in 2004 but more recently I played around with it in Photoshop Elements and applied the palette knife filter and tweaked it till I was happy with the result.
Impressionist-Inspired Sailing Ship Postcard zazzle_postcard
Impressionist-Inspired Sailing Ship Postcard by 3DDesignsByJayne

I did this particular artwork in Daz 2 point something or other in 2008, for an online art contest.  The theme was "You Animal, You".  I got second place with this fairy and tiger walking side by side in the jungle.  I can now officially say I'm an award winning artist!  LOL!
Fairy and Tiger in the Jungle Postcard zazzle_postcard
Fairy and Tiger in the Jungle Postcard by 3DDesignsByJayne

Here are some more "postcards as art" created by my fellow artists at Zazzle.

The Art Nouveau style has long been one of my favorites. When I was a teen, I had Art Nouveau posters on my wall. I loved the lines, the colors, the sense of romance and beauty.  Now I could do it again, in miniature, with these beautiful postcards.

I love the season of fall. Even though we don't get much in the way of fall color down here in Texas, I love paintings and photos depicted autumn scenes like these.

Wouldn't these make a nice wall grouping?

And who doesn't love Cicely M. Barker's delightful flower fairies? Would they make a lovely grouping on the wall in a girl's room?

THE SWEET PEA FAIRIES zazzle_postcard
THE SWEET PEA FAIRIES by flower_fairies

As you can see, whatever your preference of subject matter or style, you can find it and create a collection with it.

The only rule -- have fun!