I hope you are all merry and bright and are enjoying this bit of colder weather!
Can you believe it is already Day 6 of advent? Today is the last day of our co-op classes and tomorrow the boys leave for their annual Christmas trip to their grandparents.
I had fun creating this illustration. I knew that I wanted to do a patchwork tree. I created all of the little patterns that you see here - just super simple geometrics mostly. Nothing worthy of my 100 Patterns Project.
I'm also continuing to play around with my backgrounds for these illustrations. I'm not quite what to do with them sometimes. In this illustration I created my first vector plaid. That was fun and I want to play around with that some more.
In other news this was my first illustration using my brand spanking new iPad Pro. I drew almost the entire illustration using an app called AstroPad. It's still in that awkward stage for me but I know that I'm going to continue working in this way just for the sheer convenience.
I can even sit at the school table with the boys and work while they do their lessons!
I had a fun time with this candle illustration. I duplicated the light pattern around the flame and enlarged it in the background setting the layers to multiply to achieve a more glowing effect. I used the sienna in the background to better illustrate:
'a light shining in the darkness but the darkness does not overcome it'.
It's a good image for these dark advent evenings.
I feel like this illustration came together the easiest of any that I've done so far. That makes sense, right? I've begun to come up with a workflow that is suitable for this style.
I really love the color scheme and folk painting look of this illustration. I began drawing a pear and before I knew it this sweet bird had decided to move in. It made me laugh to think of a partridge in pear rather than in a pear tree. I think she looks more like a Christmas dove, though, don't you?
This illustration looks a bit out of place in the rest of my collection but I still like it. I think a couple of things happened here. There just wasn't a place to include some of the pattern motifs I've been working with (other than on the plate). The other contributing factor is that the brushes used in this illustration are not consistent with the first two illustrations (or the later ones).
I began this illustration in a new document and do not yet have my brushes saved to their own library. So I had to make some new brushes and the settings were different. It was after completing this illustration that I set up the template file that I'm using for the rest of the collection.
I drew this in honor of my friend Shelley Brandt of Figgy Pudding Designs. Merry Christmas, Shelley!
Angel. Day Two of #ItsAdvent 2016 by Amber Lynn BentonRead More
Ornament. Day One of #ItsAdvent 2016 by Amber Lynn BentonRead More
It's just a few short days until Thanksgiving and then the Advent season is upon us!
I've already started rearranging furniture, cleaning, and making room for the tree. The boys annual Christmas visit to their grandparents is planned and maybe - just maybe - this will finally be the year of the Tasha Tudor gingerbread house. I can always dream right? (Especially when it isn't even Thanksgiving yet!)
It's hard to believe that it's been only a year since I carved out this little studio corner in my bedroom and began to take myself seriously as an artist illustrator. Last year I joined in another artist's Advent Instagram challenge and I had a lot of fun. This year I decided that I wanted to do all 25 illustrations for Advent for my portfolio which meant that I needed to begin planning in October!
As I got well into the planning and working I was having such fun that I decided to invite other friends and fellow illustrators to join me. You can use this challenge in whatever way you want - draw handmade Christmas cards or ornaments, create finished pieces for your portfolio, or just have fun while you're cozied up on these dark evenings. (Be sure to use my hashtag #itsadvent or #itsadvent2016 so I can see your work!)
Below is the Advent Challenge Calendar. Feel free to pin and or copy and share the image. I'll be posting this to my Instagram account in just a couple of days. If you want to join in on your own Instagram account just regram the calendar!
I also created an image for Instagram that is unbranded (without my logo) for your to use on your own accounts.
Here's a blog button! (Until I figure out how to do a grab box on Squarespace, though, you'll have to just download the image and then use this posts url -- http://www.amberlynnbenton.com/blog/advent2016illustrationchallenge -- as the hyperlink for your image.)
And here is a pin for your Pinterest boards! I hope your enjoy the challenge and I can't wait to see what you create!
For drink the gentleman had only wine, often diluted with water and mixed with honey, ginger, and cinnamon to sweeten it. Water alone was regarded with justified suspicion. There were no hot drinks except mulled wine at festivities. ~ The Middle Ages by Bishop
Mulled wine, popularized in the Middle Ages, is an ancient drink dating back to the time of Hippocrates who used it as medicine. The more familiar cider is a similar but non alchoholic hot beverage made using the juice of apples (unless you use hard cider).
You can mull it over, but no matter whether you decide to warm yourself with wine or with juice both are made in a similar fashion.
First, you will need some sort of sweetener such as sugar, honey, or even dried fruit like raisins. Captured between the tartness of the drink and sweetness of your sugar is the depth and character of the spices. Their scent wafts to your nose with the steam from the hot drink and you feel warm before even the first sip. There are many spices that you can choose for mulling and there really is no need to follow a recipe ~ cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, mace, and allspice are all likely candidates. Often a bit of citrus in the form of a cloved orange, sliced oranges or lemons or their zest are added for brightness.
Go ahead and pull out the crockpot and mix up a batch of holiday cheer! If you feel like you absolutely need a recipe here is a version from Joy of Cooking which uses a mulled syrup rather than adding the spices directly into the wine:
Make a syrup by boiling for 5 minutes:
2 1/2 c. of sugar1 1/4 cups of water4 dozen whole cloves6 sticks cinnamon3 crushed NutmegsPeel of 3 lemons and 2 oranges
Strain the syrup and add to it:
4 cups hot lemon or lime juice
Heat well but do not boil. Add 4 bottles of red wine or Madeira, port or sherry. Serve very hot with slices of lemon or pineapple.