Lotti Brown Designs

-- Artist & Designer - Author & Teacher of Drawing Your Way --

digital art

Coal Tit Art - Behind the Scenes

artworks, behind the scenes, drawings, new collections, nature art, wildlife art, bird artCharlotte BrownComment

Sweet coal tit artwork ‘Coal Tit and Teasels’ by Lotti Brown

‘Coal Tit and Teasels’ art by Lotti Brown

We have had a pair of tiny coal tits in our garden for the past year and I love to see them appear on the tree branches, sweep down quickly to feed, and then dart quickly away again.

Although not as colourful as the blue tit, they’re beautiful little birds, very sweet to see, and I’m very excited to have done them a little artwork so that they can join in the teasely fun!

I love the action pose - in flight! It gives a really dynamic look to the artwork.

The colours, too, are some of my favourite - very natural but rich, warm, and really beautiful with the blends of yellows, blues, greens, greys and purples with earthy browns and beiges.

Detail from the coal tit artwork

Detail from the coal tit artwork

I created the artwork with a combination of pen and marker drawings on paper, ink-painting on fabric, and then all put together digitally in Adobe Illustrator to create the final artwork.

Click the images below to find out more about the art-making process…

And here’s the completed coal tit artwork:

Colourful coal tit artwork created digitally from drawings and painted fabric.

Colourful coal tit artwork created digitally from drawings and painted fabric.

I love the action pose of this beautiful little bird and the gorgeous soft colours and textures in the artwork. It’s a perfect matching pair for the Blue Tit and Teasels artwork or you could make a trio with the harvest mouse piece, too.

You can buy my ‘Coal Tit and Teasels’ art work as a print on paper or canvas in my art store (framed and unframed options are available).

It’s also available as a scarf, duvet cover, cushion, phone case, bag, mug, fashion top, and more in my Redbubble store here…

See more birds in my Nature & Wildlife art gallery, here…

All intellectual property rights in my designs and products (and in the images, text and design of this website) are and will remain the property of Charlotte Brown. Any infringement of these rights will be pursued seriously.

Blue Tit and Teasels Art Print - Behind the Scenes

artworks, behind the scenes, new collections, nature art, wildlife art, bird artCharlotte BrownComment

Beautiful and colourful Blue Tit artwork, ‘ Blue Tit and Teasels’ by Lotti Brown

‘Blue Tit and Teasel’ art by Lotti Brown

One of my all-time favourite birds in the garden so I just had to create another blue tit artwork as part of my Totally Teasels mini collection.

It was a real treat to draw this blue tit actually in flight as it’s a sight that I enjoy so often in the garden but have never managed to photograph myself, so I was very lucky to find an awesome photo that I was able to license and use as source inspiration for my drawing and subsequently my final artwork.

I think the artwork really captures that feeling of movement and a sense of stopping time for that split second to preserve that moment in eternity so we can keep it with us…

And I so enjoyed working with the colours of the little bird and blending in the colours of the background to create a really colourful piece.

Detail from the ‘Blue Tit and Teasels’ artwork

Detail from the ‘Blue Tit and Teasels’ artwork

Here’s how I created the artwork from my pen and marker drawings, with a hand-painted background, all combined digitally in Adobe Illustrator.

Click on the images below to see them larger and get the full description of the process…

Here’s the completed artwork:

The finished ‘Blue Tit and Teasels’ artwork

The finished ‘Blue Tit and Teasels’ artwork

I really love the colours, the bold blues and yellows of the blue tit itself and the more natural hues of the teasels and they way they contrast with the really soft blends of purples, pinks, and yellows in the background (sky) behind.

It’s turned out quite an unusual piece but I love it and I think it goes really well together with the other pieces - coal tit and harvest mouse - in the Totally Teasels mini collection, too.

You can find my ‘Blue Tits and Teasels’ artwork in my store here…

And you can get it printed onto all kinds of products from tops, scarves, cushions, bags, mugs, phone/tech cases, duvet covers and more, here…

Love blue tits? You might also like this blue tits artwork ‘Beautiful Bluetits’ that I created in 2016 that’s always been a firm favourite with me and has been one of my most popular pieces with customers too!

Or check out more birds and wildlife in my Nature and Wildlife Art Gallery.

All intellectual property rights in my designs and products (and in the images, text and design of this website) are and will remain the property of Charlotte Brown. Any infringement of these rights will be pursued seriously.

Long-tailed Tits - Did You Know?

artworks, behind the scenes, nature art, bird art, wildlife artCharlotte BrownComment

I’ve spotted some lovely little long-tailed tits in the trees this week! They are such sweet little birds, so pretty and agile…

It inspired me to revisit my Lovely Little Long-tailed Tits artwork from 2016… one of my favourites…

‘Lovely Little Long-tailed Tits’ art by Lotti Brown

One of my long-tailed tits drawings created with black fineliner drawing pen and promarkers

One of my long-tailed tits drawings created with black fineliner drawing pen and promarkers

This artwork was inspired by watching long-tailed tits feeding amongst the branches on my daily dog walk in the fields near my home. It’s great to watch these lovely little birds in the trees…

And even better to learn some of their old folk names…

Did you know that a long-tailed tit used to be known (amongst other names) by:

  • Hedge Mumruffin

  • Bum Barrel

  • Fuffit

  • Poke Pudding

  • Prinpriddle

  • Millithrum

Cool, huh? It seems a shame that we’ve lost some of these very interesting names, these days!

Click on the images below to see them larger and to find out more about how I created my art…

Detail from the long-tailed tits artwork

Detail from the long-tailed tits artwork

I always think the colours on this are really rich and warm - perfect for these cold winter days when you see the long-tailed tits fluff their feathers up so prettily!

If you like my long-tailed tits artwork, you can get it in my print store…

Also as a scarf, cushion, mug, clock, notebook and more here…

You might also like some more of my bird and wildlife art, here…

Perfectly Pink Llama Art - Behind the Scenes

artworks, behind the scenes, inspiration, pet artCharlotte BrownComment

Intricately beautiful, ‘Perfectly Pink’ llama art by Lotti Brown…

‘Perfectly Pink’ llama art by Lotti Brown

‘Perfectly Pink’ llama art by Lotti Brown

This is a lovely little llama that I met on my 40th birthday in Northumbria - so sweet and friendly… I just had to celebrate her in art…

This is what happened…

  • I created drawings of the llama and big peony flowers in pen and markers

  • I scanned them in and put them together in Adobe Illustrator to create the artwork

Click on the images below to follow the artmaking processs…

The completed llama artwork

The completed llama artwork

Here’s the completed llama artwork - the lovely pink colour is full of sweetness and love - it’s an artwork to bring you pure happiness and joy…

Llama art detail

Llama art detail

If you love my llama as much as I do, you can find her in my online art print store here…

She’s also available printed onto a range of cushions, bags, duvet covers, tops, phone cases and more here…

More in my pet art gallery here… you can also commission an artwork of your own llama or other pet here…

All intellectual property rights in my designs and products (and in the images, text and design of this website) are and will remain the property of Charlotte Brown. Any infringement of these rights will be pursued seriously.

Is Digital Art Real Art..?

artworks, behind the scenes, drawings, inspiration, new collections, sneak peek, nature artCharlotte BrownComment

I often get asked about digital art… how it’s created? …what part does the computer play? …and even if it should be considered ‘real’ art at all!?

Even though art technologies have been around for decades now, they’re still not widely understood, and most people, including many artists, have never had the opportunity to use them.

Of course, there are very many ways of using technology to create art – and I only know a tiny bit really – enough to create the work I want to create…. So we can’t cover absolutely all digital techniques here!

But I do want to share with you how I use digital art technologies to create art – and why I’m certain that this art form should definitely be considered ‘real art’.

My own artworks all actually start well away from the computer, which isn't always the case for digital art, but is still quite common these days as artists look to take the best of traditional and digital techniques.

I sit down with pen and paper – I draw and add colour. I use a black fine-liner pen, and promarker inks. I find drawing in this traditional way allows me to draw naturally and in my own particular drawing style.

I love to draw so I make it the basis of my digital art style

I think using these ‘traditional’ drawing methods to create the artwork gets the hand-drawn feel into the final artwork, and creates a unique textural quality that can be hard to create in pieces created solely on the computer.

Drawing some forsythia flowers to put with my iris drawings

I draw each flower or bird separately, as this makes them much easier to work with once they are in the computer.

Sometimes more than 20 individual drawings are put together to create a single artwork

I scan each drawing into the computer, and import them into Adobe Illustrator using the ‘Image Trace’ command, which vectorises the scanned image. 

Importing the scanned drawings into the computer programme

This means that it translates the marks into a format that can be understood by the programme software. This means I can use the software to manipulate it, change scale, and even colours.

The settings I choose when vectorising control how the drawing will appear, so I usually play around with these a bit, to make sure it looks how I want.

The background white page needs removing once the drawings have been vectorised.

Once it’s scanned and vectorised, each drawing needs the white paper behind it separating from the artwork and deleting (see images above and below), so that we can use each drawing free of the background.

Luckily as it's on the computer screen we can zoom in to check for stray bits of white from the paper background that was scanned in along with the drawing.

I've put a coloured background in, so that I can see the motifs (drawings) clearly. Then I can start moving them around, and resizing them to create the layout. It’s easy to duplicate the motif, and it can be flipped or rotated to give variety, too.

My iris drawings are now ready to be moved about on the screen to create the layout

I usually work on the layout first, before turning my attention to the colours...

Motifs/drawings all cleaned up and ready to start the design

Creating an initial framework for the layout/composition

Although the drawings are scanned in ready coloured from my drawings on paper, the colours can seem washed-out from the scanning and vectorisation process

I usually start by making them more saturated, and most often I work to adjust each colour individually, selecting it and using the colour sliders to select a colour I like, to see the effect.

Changing the colours, making them stronger, and more textural

Sometimes I work with colour palettes I created at an earlier date, and change all or some of the colours I drew originally to colours from this palette. I like the colours in my artworks to have a bit of a ‘shimmer’ to them, so it can take many experiments to get the right effect.

Experimenting with colours - work in progress

I usually create the background towards the end, using my drawings as the basis to create coloured shapes that give a textural effect. I love to try out the opacities feature to make these shapes semi-transparent, and a bit more interesting.

Trying out a darker version - not sure!!

I also often make the coloured background semi-transparent, too, and put a scan of a piece of fabric I’ve hand-painted in inks, behind the background. This creates depth and texture in the background.

This calls for lots of color tweaks for the background layers as I work hard to get an overall effect that gives the feeling I’m aiming to create.

If I’m creating a repeating pattern I will need to make sure that each edge of my rectangular swatch matches exactly to the opposite edge, so that everything matches up when it’s repeated out.  I also need to try out the repeat, and tweak many times, to make sure there are no unattractive ‘lines’ or ‘holes’ appearing in the patterns. This stage can sometimes take very many hours.

Once I’m happy with the design, or art piece, it’s saved as a low-resolution, web-friendly image, and also exported as a high quality PNG or TIFF, suitable for print.

Saving a version of the file - this isn't the final version - still more tweaking!

Although the artwork is created digitally, it only exists to eventually be printed out in physical format – whether this is a high quality giclee print for framing, a greetings card, or even put onto wallpaper or fabric.

In this way, the digital component is just another tool that the human artist uses – the mouse is the equivalent of the paintbrush or palette knife, and the screen the canvas. The computer doesn’t create the artwork, it’s simply a medium that the artist can manipulate, to make the vision in his or her head into a physical reality that others can see too.

Digital art still uses the artist’s skill at composition, draughtsmanship and colour. The machine can’t create an artwork from nothing. The human artist makes decisions, and creates the piece from their personal vision.

You will be able to see the final version coming soon to my online store

I must admit, it is nice, though, to be able to tweak layouts until they look right – and to change colours easily. This is vital, too, for creating patterns and designs from my artwork – moving motifs precisely to create repeating patterns, and developing alternative colourways quickly and easily.

I think this is one of the main advantages of creating art digitally (at least in part) – it gives the utmost flexibility to the artist, which is a wonderful gift.

I love the hands-on, ‘traditional’ drawing I do with pens and paper most of all – it’s an intense experience, and I feel really involved, and very connected to my subject.

I really do love the digital bit that comes afterwards, too – with so much scope for experimental play, trial and error, to see just where I can push my art.

Take a look at the final print in my nature and birds collection also available in my print store or on printed products, home wares and accessories here…

Let me know how you like to create your art? Do you like using computers in your art? What part do they play in your art?

Do you think that digitally created art is ‘real art’? Let me know in the comments right below the post… 

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