Experimenting with Watercolor and Digital

April 27, 2017

In this mid-April week I decided to go ahead and try something new. I am finally using my fine art in my digital work. Graphic design has been my bread and butter for 9 years and it feels inescapable as a field when I begin to transition to fine art or illustration. Every employer I have had utilized my design abilities. Yet, recently I discovered my interest in fine art, primarily watercolor illustration, which is intimately linked to my interest in themes found with illustration. Design encompasses all of the digital art fields, but I feel illustration bridges the gap between fine art and design.

Every time I’ve tried to place myself in a category I struggle with my art. I worked on this watercolor illustration yesterday after observing the orchids in my bedroom. I felt like an artist again. It’s such a difficult thing in a digital world where everywhere we look something has been designed to make us buy or catch our attention for an extended amount of time. I was fascinated by the idea of the orchid, its color and the transfer of light.

Botanical illustration has always been a love for me. I took a botanical illustration course last February through Otis and learned about lighting and shading. The reason I mention this is because there is because now I see design in everything even fine art. When I took a master’s course a year ago for oil painting, I realized there was design in setting up the display and arranging the different elements of the still life composition. It’s really inescapable. I see design in all fields, but I don’t necessarily see art in the graphic design field.

I know many graphic designers utilize their skills in art to create graphic illustrations and this takes real talent. It takes ability to create graphics and an eye that must be trained. However, there is nothing like formal training in color, values, composition, and all of the elements that create good design. No one can be taught what the subject matter of their art will be. Creativity cannot be taught either.