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FROM THE ARCHIVE 28th February 2013 – And I still haven’t done any more drawing!

The Lady in the Big Hat #1 Personalized Announcements by FirstNightDesign I am delighted to tell you that I have just sold one hundred invitations of  The Lady in the Big Hat. I often used to draw …

Source: The Lady in the Big Hat Invites You… | First Night Design

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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Source: Oseille des Prés Business Card | Zazzle

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


parrot_in_a_gilded_cage_double_sided_standard_business_cards_pack_of_100-r297e2c23650c46f7bc0360d41b87f43a_i579t_8byvr_325
Parrot in a Gilded Cage Double-Sided Standard Business Cards (Pack Of 100) by FirstNightDesign

When I posted The Merry Widow image the other week, BeetleyPete assumed (it was a compliment) that I had coloured the central image. In fact, I hadn’t, and the colours were on the original Play Pictorial Cover. However, Parrot in a Gilded Cage is a different matter. The illustration is a black & white sketch from one of my vintage Children’s Encyclopaedia and I coloured it. So there you go, Pete!

Parrot Quote Greeting Card
Parrot Quote Greeting Card by FirstNightDesign

Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Venetian Harbour, Chania © Sarah Vernon

Venetian Harbour, Chania © Sarah Vernon

This photograph of the Venetian Harbour in Chania, Crete, was taken by me on this occasion and not Mr FND! My idea was to create a watercolour with the gentle lines of a preparatory drawing showing through.

My first layer was the bluewatercolor from Angie Makes in Photoshop’s Normal mode. This I followed with the Beguiling-18 texture from 2 Lil’ Owls in Linear Burn. As you can see, I’m getting a lot of mileage out of those two backgrounds! Next came the Venetian Harbour which I put in Screen mode. To create the line drawing, I used the Trace Contour tool; this is not the best tool in the world but since I wanted the bare minimum showing, I knew it could work. To top it off, I used another 2 Lil’ Owls texture, 2LO Confetti 8. Putting the latter in Multiply mode was the perfect finishing touch.

The original harbour photograph © Sarah Vernon

The original harbour photograph © Sarah Vernon

The last time I tried to create a watercolour effect with this photo — some years ago now — it was disastrous and very obviously ‘Photoshopped’ using their ‘watercoloor’ tool. Not a good idea. I’m much happier this time round!

Incidentally, the mosque in the centre of the picture is the Mosque of the Janissaries, now an art gallery. If you ever find yourself in the harbour, by all means have a drink but don’t, whatever you do, eat a meal. The quality is appalling and you would be better off going up the side streets to find good, authentic food. Most important of all, avoid the taverna that sells very pink and very green cocktails — coloured fizzy water at best! We were each offered one for free having allowed the owner to do a quick run round the harbour on my mobility scooter. Never again!

Here, for your delectation, is a recipe for what looks and sounds like an excellent green cocktail from MyBestCocktails.com:

minttu

Minttu

Ingredients
1 oz Malibu Rum
1 oz Cuban Rum
1 oz Batida de Coco
2/3 oz Midori
1 oz Pineapple Juice
6 leaves Mint Leaves

  1. Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Pour into a tall glass with some ice.
  3. Enjoy!

No, I’ve never come across Midori either!

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Crated
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Vampire Quote Flasks
Vampire Quote Flasks

“I can resist everything except temptation.”

This was one of my very first designs, which I created by hand-colouring a vintage bat from my Picture Book of Animals.

Vampire Quote Greeting Card
Vampire Quote Greeting Card

Vampire Quote Double-Sided Standard Business Cards (Pack Of 100)
Vampire Quote Double-Sided Standard Business Cards (Pack Of 100)

Vampire Quote Standard Cocktail Napkin
Vampire Quote Standard Cocktail Napkin

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


From the Archives (27-08-12).

First Night Design

There’s an elegant lady in New Orleans who’s having a party!  Yes, I was delighted to start the week with 75 invitations sold.  I drew The Lady in the Big Hat with LiveBrush software which enables me to draw as I used to before Limited Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis put paid to using my hands thus!

The Lady in the Big Hat #1 Personalized Announcements
The Lady in the Big Hat #1 Personalized Announcements by FirstNightDesign

Take care and keep laughing.
Sarah

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Léon Bakst 1867-1924 — Self Portrait 1893

Léon Bakst 1867-1924 — Self Portrait 1893 [Wikipedia]

Who can resist the work of Léon Bakst? Not I. The Russian artist was responsible for the gloriously exotic costumes worn by the dancers of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes and the accompanying illustrations that adorned the programmes.

If you’ve come to know me at all, you will not be surprised that I have now restored the Wikimedia image of the Schéhérazade programme that I uploaded for yesterday’s post about Diaghilev and have made it available on cards, posters and prints.

The programme is for the 1913 production of Shéhérazade with Michel Fokine and Vera Fokina. While I’m sure that the original background was as white as could be achieved at that time, the patina of age has its own charm. I have restored it to a certain extent such as blocking in the border where it had faded and enhancing the colours and contrast but I decided not to make the background white but simply even out the dirt of decades into a yellowy cream.

A final treat —

Photograph from 1914 of Fokine and Fokina in Scherezade

Photograph from 1914 of Fokine and Fokina in Schéhérazade [Wikimedia]

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


The Lady in the Big Hat #1 Personalized Announcements
The Lady in the Big Hat #1 Personalized Announcements by FirstNightDesign

I am delighted to tell you that I have just sold one hundred invitations of  The Lady in the Big Hat.

I often used to draw but over the years, it had became increasingly difficult  because of the way  Limited Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis (LcSSc) affects dexterity.  I’m certainly not suggesting I was an extraordinarily talented illustrator but I could get by and I enjoyed it enormously.

A couple of years ago I discovered LiveBrush software from Adobe and realised I could start drawing once more and without the associated pain.  I was over the moon.  The problem is that my first attempt was The Lady in the Big Hat and it felt like an utter fluke, that I would never be able to create anything comparable.

I have let this stupid lack of confidence stop me in my tracks when I should simply dismiss it with a snap of the fingers – a painful activity! — and just keep ‘doing’ it, keep drawing, no matter what.

Saying is one thing and doing it another.  But this weekend I’m going to give myself a good talking to, lift up my LiveBrush ‘pen’ or ‘pencil’ and go for it.  Life is too short.  Carpe Diem!

Here’s wishing you all a joyous and productive March.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

 

*February is Raynaud’s Awareness Month


There’s an elegant lady in New Orleans who’s having a party!  Yes, I was delighted to start the week with 75 invitations sold.  I drew The Lady in the Big Hat with LiveBrush software which enables me to draw as I used to before Limited Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis put paid to using my hands thus!

The Lady in the Big Hat #1 Personalized Announcements
The Lady in the Big Hat #1 Personalized Announcements by FirstNightDesign

Take care and keep laughing.
Sarah

I am very fond of elephants. If I had my way, and my back garden were the size of a small continent, I would have my very own heffalump! In the meantime, I make do with art. The following painting from the talented Diane Duda of DudaDaze being sold at Zazzle on a greeting card caught my eye today. I find it exquisitely charming.  I particularly like the ‘antiqued’ effect.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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