My Work: Watercolor Landscape Studies

Over spring break our family took a road trip from the bay area to Las Vegas, to the Grand Canyon, to a friend's home in Arizona, to Santa Monica, and back home. Lots of driving. And lots of scenery.

About a year ago I went to a watercolor class at the local library where the teacher shared how she would paint on a train and the challenge was painting fast (like within two minutes) because you only have so much time before your view is gone. I thought painting landscapes would be a fun challenge and pass some time during our trip and it was! I couldn't do as many as I'd like because I am prone to car sickness but I was able to complete a handful. Here are my three favorites.

Highway 5 South

Amanda Gomes Watercolor Landscape Painting • amandagomes.com

From the train ride to the Grand Canyon

Amanda Gomes Watercolor Landscape Painting • amandagomes.com

Leaving Arizona

Amanda Gomes Watercolor Landscape Painting • amandagomes.com

My Work: Bouquet Paintings

For the past few weeks I've been painting bouquets as often as I can and have shared many of them on Instagram. For inspiration, I've referenced bouquets in books, magazines, on instagram and pinterest, and fresh flowers on my desk from Trader Joe's (the best!!).

It's been fun painting arrangements in vases, some without, in various color palettes, adding details with color pencils or pen, and exploring different shapes and styles. 

Watercolor Bouquet Arrangement Illustration by artist Amanda Gomes • amandagomes.com
Watercolor Bouquet Arrangement Illustration by Amanda Gomes artist • amandagomes.com
Watercolor Bouquet Arrangement Illustration by artist Amanda Gomes • amandagomes.com
Watercolor Hydrangea Bouquet Arrangement Illustration by Amanda Gomes artist • amandagomes.com
Watercolor Bouquet Arrangement Illustration by artist Amanda Gomes • amandagomes.com
Watercolor Bouquet Arrangement Illustration by artist Amanda Gomes • amandagomes.com
Watercolor Bouquet Arrangement Illustration by Amanda Gomes • amandagomes.com
Watercolor Dahlia Bouquet Arrangement Illustration by Amanda Gomes artist • amandagomes.com
Watercolor Orchid Plant Illustration by artist Amanda Gomes • amandagomes.com
Watercolor Bouquet Arrangement Illustration by artist Amanda Gomes • Photo inspo by Fleur Studio • amandagomes.com

Zipper Pouches

Over the summer I ordered swatches of fabric with my patterns for a potential project I decided not to move forward with (for now, at least)...but I was super happy with the fabric and loved how my designs printed on it, and thought you might too.

So I sweet talked my mom into sewing these mini zipper pouches (she said yes!), found some great quality brass YKK zippers, various fabric for lining, and we got to work.


Now I get to introduce these fun mini pouches to you which will be for sale next week when my shop opens on Wednesday 11/1. There's literally only one of each design (with a couple patterns showing up twice but in a different scale), and I have no plans to ask my mom to make more ;) so they're one of a kind and only available while they last.

They'll be available here starting on Wednesday: amandagomes.com/shop/zipper-pouches

My Work: Recent Sketches

I've been experimenting with sketches adding background colors in watercolor and like the extra boldness it adds to my work. I don't know if I'll make it a regular thing, but it's been fun to try.

The biggest struggle is knowing how to paint the background without it looking too messy. Some strokes and puddles look cool and others, not so much. One tip I can share is that it's obviously easier to do the background with a larger round brush...so I used a size 10 brush. The wide part gives a nice swash and the round tip helps me get around the detail areas.

Here are some of the sketches. What do you think?

Amanda-Gomes-Illustration-Chair.jpg
Copyright Amanda Gomes • watercolor pink coat illustration
Copyright Amanda Gomes • Watercolor Cake Illustration
Copyright Amanda Gomes • plates watercolor illustration
Copyright Amanda Gomes • watercolor camellia illustration
Copyright Amanda Gomes • watercolor succulent illustration
Copyright Amanda Gomes  • Watercolor Floral Pattern

 

For more of my work, follow along on Instagram to see my daily sketches and patterns.

Practice Recommendation: Magazine Illustrations

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me post these practice illustrations in my Stories. I've been wanting to get better at watercolor illustrations because I typically default to painting florals and fruit so I chose four magazine covers and painted them in a fairly quick style over four days. I took about 30-60 min for each. I wasn't aiming for perfect (clearly!), but instead I wanted to get the idea across and get a feel for sketching a space.

I'd love to be more comfortable painting a range of subjects, including people, animals, furniture, houses, etc. and these cover paintings are such a good idea. They have a variety of elements on each cover which make me consider depth and angles as well as figuring out how to "paint white" by leaving areas empty and painting around the white parts. There's the lettering aspect too which is fun! I'm going to continue this practice even though I probably won't keep sharing them...and I recommend you try too if you're in the same boat. Have fun!

Day 1: Real Simple

Watercolor Practice Idea: use magazine covers for lots of illustration elements
Real Simple Magazine Cover Sept 2017

Day 2: Better Homes & Gardens

Watercolor Practice Idea: use magazine covers for lots of illustration elements
Watercolor Practice Idea: use magazine covers for lots of illustration elements

Day 3: Sunset

Watercolor Practice Idea: use magazine covers for lots of illustration elements
Watercolor Practice Idea: use magazine covers for lots of illustration elements

Day 4: House Beautiful

Watercolor Practice Idea: use magazine covers for lots of illustration elements
Watercolor Practice Idea: use magazine covers for lots of illustration elements

Day 5: Martha Stewart Living

Watercolor Practice Idea: use magazine covers for lots of illustration elements
Watercolor Practice Idea: use magazine covers for lots of illustration elements

Painting to Pattern: My Process

I'm a curious type who asks lots of questions in hopes of finding out how things work, why they're done the way they are, and how little things fit into a bigger picture. And since I have a fairly standard process when it comes to how I create a surface pattern from my watercolor art, I thought I'd share for you other curious types. So here it is...

Paint-to-pattern-design-process-amanda-gomes-delightedco.jpg

When I'm creating patterns, I usually have a color palette in mind and paint in those particular colors. There are ways to change the colors in Illustrator or Photoshop but when possible, I prefer to keep my designs pretty true to the colors I use when I originally create them.

I'll usually find floral images in a book, on Pinterest or from photos I've taken around town and use them for inspiration. When I paint fruit, however, I typically do a google image search because I can see multiple colors and variations of a piece of fruit in one place which is super helpful.

Last week I worked on this pattern:

©Amanda Gomes • Watercolor Floral Pattern

Which started as these individual motifs:

My process for turning my painted (watercolor) elements into patterns. ©Amanda Gomes • delightedco.com

I then scanned at 600 dpi using the software that came with my scanner (not an amazing scanner by the way, but it works: HP Officejet Pro 6830). I selected separate motifs and made new layers from each so I could edit them one by one. I edit the levels, remove the paper background and any dust spots, smooth edges if necessary, brighten or adjust color, and sometimes remove or add part of the painted motifs if their shape needs a little help.

Amanda-Gomes-Watercolor-Pattern-Process-2.jpg

Each motif is then transferred as a separate element into Illustrator. For this particular pattern, I made mini bouquets from the elements and then laid out those bouquets to create my final design. I tried out a few background colors and then saved the few I liked best. And that's it!

My process for turning my painted (watercolor) elements into patterns. ©Amanda Gomes • delightedco.com