Happy Holidays

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. It goes by too quickly and seems like there is too little time and money to get that perfect gift for everyone. I have been exploring money-saving possibilities. I may be decorating some plain mens t-shirts. Tie-dye and iron on offer lots of design possibilities. Maybe I'll design an ugly sweater t-shirt. The ugly sweater tradition has really grown. Many people are looking for that perfect ugly sweater.

Of course there is always baking brownies or cookies. It's fairly in expensive to pickup holiday containers deigned specifically for gifting baked goods.

I was also thinking about sewing some oven mittens or painting some picture frames. There are lots of possibilities. How about a painted rock, critter paper weight?

Crystal Snowflake


Status Update on Santa Picture

I've been working on this project sporadically due to time constraints. It's coming along although more slowly than I'd like. A double-edged sword that experience in Photoshop is the potential for zooming in very closely. I can become intensely focused on details in one section of the image and zoom out to find no progress or mismatched progress. To combat this during my last coloring session, I decided to just start filling color in all over the place. The color is more refined in areas where I have spent a little more time. I would like to finish this over the next two weeks. It seems like a reasonable goal if I invest significant time into it. -Beth
Santa returns on a reindeer

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Christmas card, photo card, zazzle.com, zazzle, customize, greeting card, add photo, blue, snowflake, snow flake, snowflakes

Zazzle Makes Customizing Fun

Written by Beth Ashton, 8 December 2016
Christmas card, photo card, zazzle.com, zazzle, customize, greeting card,  add photo, blue, snowflake, snow flake, snowflakes
Photo Card retrieved from http://www.zazzle.com/photo_snowflake_christmas_card
Although I am still relatively new to Zazzle and have been using it for less than six months, I have enjoyed the experience and the tools that allow you to share your creations through social media. Need something for the holidays? You can buy your own artwork as a gift or someone else's work. Just don't create an object that uses the word beer. It will be dropped as I have learned the hard way. There are certain guidelines that help to maintain a family friendly experience. The featured image in this article is the cover of my newest project, a greeting card that can be customized with your own photo and message inside. If you would like to check it out, follow the link. http://www.zazzle.com/photo_snowflake_christmas_card Looking for other gift ideas? You can follow this link instead. http://www.zazzle.com/

New Snowflake Clip Art and Snowflash Illustrator Digital Brushes On Sale

Just released is this set of snowflake clip art and the corresponding AI CC digital brushes and a vector version for AI CC. If you can't take advantage of the digital brushes you can still embellish with the snowflake clip art in PNG and GIF files. This set is $3. https://www.etsy.com/listing/481293912/snowflake-clip-art-gif-and-png-images?ref=shop_home_active_1 Snowflakes, clip-art, clip art, digital brush, Adobe Illustrator, brushes, winter Continue reading New Snowflake Clip Art and Snowflash Illustrator Digital Brushes On Sale

Newest Free Butterfly Clip-art

Using the Wacom, this butterfly was created in Photoshop with an air brush, and then a filter was applied. Of course, I used my favorite colors. Don't hesitate to send in request. I will do my best to accommodate reasonable requests and post them as free clip-art on this site.
Mushroom Butterfly Clip-art PNG Image
Mushroom Butterfly Clip-art PNG Image
Chippewa, Nokomus, dreamcatcher, legend

Illustration of the Chippewa Legend of the Dreamcatcher

Chippewa, Legend, Dreamcatcher, Dream weaver, tradition, Native American
Nokomis watches the spider.
While participating in a three day education course as part of an assignment, I chose to illustrate the beautiful, Chippewa Legend of the Dreamcatcher. I used acrylics and examined paintings and photos to build a concept of how this scene might look. although the legend mentions a window, I placed this scene in a wigwam, because I found references to wigwams but not other types of housing. Although I did not fully capture the beauty of this legend, I wanted to share my interpretation. Dreaming means much more than sleeping, and I hope this image will inspire you to look into the history of dreaming in Native American culture. I have been told that I am 1/16 Algonquin; my maternal grandmother is mostly of Native American decent. I was able to feel a connection to the idea of finding spirituality though the process  of dreaming and hope you can too. -Beth

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Newest Watercolor, Sunflowers Painted from a Plastic Flower Model

I am exploring watercolors and feel more successful today than I usually do, in part, because I used a square edged Daler and Rowney number 8 brush instead of a smaller, pointy tipped brush. This brush allowed for much more natural flow of the watercolor than I normally experience. My model was a bunch of silk sunflowers, because they are a bit easier to work with than the real ones.  Once I completed my pencil sketch, I began right away with the color and stayed put until I was finished. I know myself, and that I am very unlikely to revisit a work, because I will not be happy with it later. Here it is. Let me know what you think if you want to. http://www.artpal.com/creationcreature/?i=53048-13
sunflower, painting, watercolor, sunflowers, art, artpal
Windy Day by Beth Ashton October 19, 2016

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Elephant, environment, craypas, tempura, art, prints

Art Using Craypas and Tempera

Elephant, environment, craypas, tempura, art, prints
At the Edge of Existence
I was recently exposed to a method of creating imagery with sharp contrast and vivid colors using tempera and craypas, also known as oil pastels. The first step was drawing and coloring in an image using a smooth, thick coat of the craypas and then painting a coat of black tempera paint on top of the craypas. By placing the dried painting over a source of light, such as a window, the image below is revealed, and strategic removal of the tempera with a scratching instrument will expose colors that appear vivid in contrast to the darker tempera. To create solid areas of rich black in the paper, leave the paper white where shadow or outlines would be instead of covering them with oil pastels. The black tempera will soak into the paper in these areas creating contrasting black lines. My example can be seen at Artpal and is available for sale as a print. http://www.artpal.com/creationcreature/#i1  

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