illustration

Summer, Swimsuits & a Comission

Hi there. How are you? 

It's been hot and humid for weeks now in Southern Illinois. All I want to do is swim. Good thing we've got a lovely little public beach on the lake nearby. Hoping to head there tomorrow.  

I've been thinking about swimwear a lot this summer as I spent a good chunk of my studio time illustrating swimsuits for a commission. A few months back, I was asked to create some original artwork for a brand new tiny house rental cabin near of Lake of Egypt.   

The stylish, light filled interior of one of the Dam Near Lake of Egypt micro cabins. Photo courtesy of Dam Near Cabins. 

The stylish, light filled interior of one of the Dam Near Lake of Egypt micro cabins. Photo courtesy of Dam Near Cabins. 

Pops of red, yellow and blue set off the mainly white, bright interior. Photos courtesy of Dam Near Cabins. 

Pops of red, yellow and blue set off the mainly white, bright interior. Photos courtesy of Dam Near Cabins. 

Dam Near Cabins

Dam Near Lake of Egypt Cabins is a brand new business started by Allison and Michael Hasler. They built and elegantly furnished two lovely rental "micro cabins" that are just 1 mile from Lake of Egypt Dam. (Clever name, isn't it?!)

I got to tour this cabin right before they finished it and I've got to tell you, it's gorgeous. It's diminutive 550 square feet is packed with high end finishes and feels light, spacious and airy. I would love to stay here sometime! 

* All cabin photos courtesy of Allison Hassler, Dam Near Cabins.

The Dam Near micro cabins have a sleek, modern, and full sized kitchen and bathroom. Photos courtesy of Dam Near Cabins. 

The Dam Near micro cabins have a sleek, modern, and full sized kitchen and bathroom. Photos courtesy of Dam Near Cabins. 

Bathroom Art

Allison commissioned me to create some original art for this charming bathroom. (I'm not quite sure why, but my art often seems to make it's way into people's bathrooms. Maybe it's the small size of my work?)

She asked me to illustrate vintage swimwear and I was happy to oblige. I was excited to revisit collage and take a break from abstraction, so I quickly got busy looking for source material. I took my cues for color from the pops of aqua, red, and yellow found in the cabin furnishings.

A mixed-media illustration based on a vintage Tom Brigance swimsuit. 

A mixed-media illustration based on a vintage Tom Brigance swimsuit. 

Ink & Paper

I started with this adorable 1950's skirted suit designed by Tom Brigance. I did a preliminary drawing of the suit on red polka dotted paper, and then added in the details with my trusty black Bic ballpoint pen. 

A classic 1950's bathing suit illustrated with patterned paper and black Bic ballpoint ink. 

A classic 1950's bathing suit illustrated with patterned paper and black Bic ballpoint ink. 

A Classic Shape

Next I worked on the yellow suit, also a classic 1950's design. As we know, that comes around goes around in fashion, and this style is in vogue again right now. In fact, I own a suit very similar to this myself. (It's a little less ruched and is red instead of yellow though.  Yellow is not my color!)

A vintage 1950's bathing suit that doesn't look that idea for swimming that I illustrated for a client. 

A vintage 1950's bathing suit that doesn't look that idea for swimming that I illustrated for a client. 

Swimming in Velvet?

Though this one seems older to me, this is also a 1950's Tom Brigance design. It was made cotton and rayon, but almost looks like velvet to me. It doesn't seem that practical for swimming, but that's nothing new.  Have you seen this suit that can't get wet and is dry clean only?????

The original illustrations framed up and hanging in the bathroom at the Dam Near micro cabin. Photos courtesy of Dam Near Cabins. 

The original illustrations framed up and hanging in the bathroom at the Dam Near micro cabin. Photos courtesy of Dam Near Cabins. 

The Install

A couple of weeks ago, Allison shared these pictures of my illustrations framed up and hanging in the bathroom. They look great, don't they? I'm so pleased with the way they turned out and so were my clients.

I absolutely adored working on this project and I couldn't believe how quickly I was able to adjust to working in this illustrative style again. I'd love to do more more swimsuits in the future. (It may have to wait until the fall though. I've got so many other projects to accomplish.) 

Vintage swimsuit prints are here! Click through to purchase. Buy the set and save $10.00.

Vintage swimsuit prints are here! Click through to purchase. Buy the set and save $10.00.

Prints are available! 

With the blessing of my client, I've made prints of my three swimsuit illustrations. They'd look great in your bathroom, beach house, lake home or pool. Each print is available for sale individually or you can buy a set of all three and save $10.00. 

Want to commission me to make something special for you? 

I really love being told what to do. (Seriously, I do!) Get in touch if you'd like me to create some custom artwork of your very own. 

That's all for now. Ciao! 

 

Illustrated Stories - A Lawn Chair in Makanda

Hi there. How are you?

In today's edition of "Illustrated Stories", I'm sharing one of my favorite pieces I've ever made. I created this piece in 2013, when I was neck deep in my lawn chair phase.

This mixed-media illustrated chair is constructed with collaged paper and ball-point pen.

This mixed-media illustrated chair is constructed with collaged paper and ball-point pen.

The Story

I came across this chair on the roof top deck of the L.L. Bell building, on the Boardwalk in Makanda, Illinois. When I saw this slightly wonky chair and this scene, I knew it would make for a great mixed-media illustration.

The colors, lines, and textures of the chair, wall, decking, and screen door were screaming to be drawn! I love rendering wood, especially of the old, weathered variety, so I knew this piece was going to be treat to make.

My filtered Instagram shot of lovely chair I spotted in Makanda.

My filtered Instagram shot of lovely chair I spotted in Makanda.

The photo I took in Makanda, that became basis for my illustration.

The photo I took in Makanda, that became basis for my illustration.

I took my source photos for this piece with my iPhone. I am continually amazed at the power of the camera it contains. The iPhone beautifully captures the light, color, and detail of the scene.

My completed mixed-media illustration

My completed mixed-media illustration

Process and Materials

There are four different kinds of paper in this piece. The brick was rendered on a piece of orange patterned paper. The tonal pattern was just subtle enough that it doesn't detract from the overall scene, but instead adds some interest and texture. The decking was crafted out of a gray paper, and the door was drawn on top of a bit of vintage ledger paper. (Can you see the faint blue lines in the white areas of the door?) The chair and the other brown areas were drawn on brown craft paper. I love the soft texture and look of craft paper and it makes its way into many of my pieces.

All of the dark you see here was done with my trusty Bic ballpoint pen. Inking up my pieces is by far my favorite part of my process. Addingthe detail with ink really makes these scenes come to life!

The Title

I've often thought of my chairs as stand-ins for people. If you think of them that way the title "I've Seen" makes sense. The weathered old chair has surely been a silent observer to much up on the roof of this historic building on the Makanda boardwalk.

This piece is way too cool to be sitting on a shelf in my studio. Go on, buy it! Here's the listing:

Original Mixed Media Chair Illustration - I've Seen
175.00 300.00

This is a one of a kind mixed media work that captures a lovely old chair found on a rooftop deck in Makanda, Illinois. Read more about this piece here.

THE DETAILS: The work measures 10" x 8" and is mounted on a 2" deep cradled wooden box. With a small sawtooth hanger on the back, it comes ready to hang or can sit on a ledge or shelf.

Collaged paper, black ball point pen and Prismacolor colored pencils were used the creation of this work. It is finished with a protective UVA/UVB coating and clear varnish, so that the papers won't fade over time and it is water resistant.

The piece bears my initials on the front, and is signed and dated on the back.

THE SHIPPING: Your piece will be wrapped in a handmade fabric bag, carefully packaged in a sturdy box, and inshipped to you via USPS mail with insurance and a tracking number. I take great care to make sure my pieces are wrapped and shipped securely.

Please contact me with any questions.

OTHER INFORMATION: Please be aware that while I do my best to photograph the colors true-to-life, all monitors display colors differently, please allow some variation between what you see on your screen and what you see in real life.

Copyright © Jennifer Johansson
All Rights Reserved.

Add To Cart

That's it for today. Please share this post with someone you think might enjoy my work. Ciao!



Daily Drawing Complete!

Hi there. How are you?

My Creativebug 31 days of drawing challenge is complete! It was a great experience and I'm proud of the work I created.  Click HERE to see the first 12 days of drawings. Here's what I've drawn since I last posted:

 

Daily Drawing Challenge, Day 13-20, January 2016

Daily Drawing Challenge, Day 13-20, January 2016

January Daily Drawings - Days 21-26

January Daily Drawings - Days 21-26

January 2016 - Daily Drawings days 27-31.

January 2016 - Daily Drawings days 27-31.

So, I decided to make the Day 29 drawing the large one in this vignette, as I like it much better than day 31. I didn't have a whole lot of time to draw those phones, and it's not my most successful drawing. At least I still did the drawing, right?

What's Next?

I woke up on February 1st feeling a little bit of a letdown. With January's drawing challenge complete, I just didn't know quite what to do with myself!

There are actually 2 different February drawing challenges out there and I was planning on taking part in one or both. I sat down to draw yesterday and was just not enthused about either course. I guess I'm getting a little tired of someone else telling me what to do (although that was quite comforting over the last month. ) 

I've got my own subjects to tackle and I'm ready to get cracking on these! I want to do a special drawing so send out to my mailing list later this month. I want to draw wine and coffee illustrations to complement my beer tea towel design. I want to finish up my second coloring book.

I'm not going to give up the practice of drawing each day, and posting them on Instagram, but I'm going to draw what I want to. If the prompt in one of the daily challenges seems appealing, I'll draw it, but I won't feel beholden to the draw what's been prescribed for today.

That's all for today!

Ciao friends. I have to go draw. See you here next week! Like to see what I'm up to in the studio on a daily basis? Follow me on Instagram.