Hey, Guys! Back again to speak about more bunnies as we enter the season of Spring. Well, Spring has not really "sprung" here in Milan yet, but looking forward to it after these last cold weeks.
OK, I have 2 sets of bunnies to show you from the Woodland Line. The first set is more from the Western culture, while the second set has a more of an Eastern flavor. The Western set started with these small sketches of bunnies.
I wanted to find a simple shape that could still be recognizable as a bunny, and although my first couple attempts on the left may fit the bill for bunnies, I couldn't see them as anything but shapes. I guess they would be OK for a design, graphic and all. But kind of wanted more character. I always want the little guys to be able to perform. Then, I came up with that little guy on the right. So, using that as a direction, I gave it a few more shots and came up with these.
I had an idea that these guys would be texting on their mobile devices. So, I had come up with some texting phrases commonly used to put above their heads. At first the texting didn't really form a conversation between the bunnies... and I thought that was OK. But my husband thought they should be texting to each other... which is much funnier as they are right next to each other while texting! It was a little challenging to come up with some short texting phrases that would amount to a conversation, but I managed and it all seemed to work out in the end. The scene kind of reminds me of family gatherings in the States these days.
Now for the second set. As pandas are inspired by my nieces in LA, bunnies come from my niece in Hawaii. Anyone familiar with Sister Stamps knows my little niece with her best friend, Daba (her stuffed bunny), and I can't draw these little guys without thinking of her. I decided to make a set of these cute rabbits to use against the washi paper designs that I am working on to go as backgrounds for various characters. Washi paper being inherently Japanese, I wanted a set of bunnies that would match the paper designs better. So, I got to work on these couple of sketches.
I thought the little guy on the right would work as he looked kind of Asian to me. The other guy seemed a little too detailed for what I had in mind. So, going with the sketchy look again, like with the "2 bears" design, I fashioned a set of 7 rabbits. Why 7? Well, in Japanese culture, it is safer to go with an odd number than even (and it's just better design, right?). 4 is considered bad luck because it is associated with death, and 9 is associated with torture (even though that's an odd number), so... couldn't go with that! 7 seems to be considered a lucky number, and "good fortune" was the kanji I had planned to use for the design so it all kind of fit together. Bunnies, good luck, and the number 7. What more could anyone ask?
Now, I thought I would throw in the designs I had done for the products as it shows the washi that I worked hard and long for in the background. The problem with all these products is all the different specs for the design, and I found that for the most part, because everything is so specific, I have to redesign the image almost every time to adapt them to another product. More in the backgrounds than the characters, but still... it is almost repainting the washi again for every design... and that's so that it looks right on the product but still looks like the original washi that was designed. Whew!
OK, so at first I thought "panels", because for some reason, that seemed Japanese to me. I think I am actually associating the rectangular shape to that of Chinese painting instead, but oh well. Anyway, they seemed to turn out OK and I think if you like to absorb yourself in the pattern of the washi, these are fine.
But then, I thought "brush stroke"! So, I wanted to see if I could get a more interesting result using a brush stroke effect. You know, you think doing a brush stroke would be easy. It's not. Or maybe it's just me being picky, but I don't know how many times I hit that "apple z" button. So after laboring over it for many hours, I managed to come up with several options.
This first one was kind of fun, whimsical and a bit lyrical... but a little too much for being on a bowl. It started looking forced and just too much. After all, Asian brush art is more about simplicity. So, I tried simple and straighter.
But now, it seemed a little too close to what I had before. Just a straight strip of color. Why the heck change it if you don't see any difference, right? Well, it's good to hit the 2 extremes before arriving to a happy medium.
I was satisfied with this result. It had enough movement as well as remaining simple. The mug version of the brush stroke is a little more wild, but thought it still was simple enough to work. Kind of liked how the bunnies would disappear a little against the white too, playing with the positive and negative spaces.
OK, that's it for now. I know... long post, right? Well, it's over... finally. Thanks for dropping by for show and tell, and hope you had fun!