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baby barish

After working five weeks non-stop it feels very good to be home. I will be traveling a lot this year and working on new projects that will be announced sometime soon (I hope). My time for personal art is minimal. This image has been floating in my head for weeks – our daughter absolutely loves barish (rain) just like me.

I will be speaking on a panel this Saturday through CAAMfest about Pashmina and storytelling along with some stellar folks – Thi Bui who’s beautiful graphic memoir just released, The Best We Could Do.  Innosanto Nagara who wrote the essential kids book, A is for Activist. If you’re in Oakland please come by!

I will be in Cleveland in April as well as Juneau, Alaska. You can always see my upcoming events here.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

disney watercolors

Belle (sold)

The rescuers – available

Esmeralda – available

Pocahontas – available

Mickey and Minnie – available

It’s been a whirlwind of traveling back and forth from southern California – I’ve finished five watercolors while signing, meeting loads of wonderful people and catching up with old friends. Thank you to everyone who’s come to say hi! This Friday and Saturday will be the last of my Disney residency – I’m planning on painting Alice in Wonderland and Lilo and Stitch. If you’re around I hope you’ll swing by! For now these are only available as originals and if Wonderground Gallery receives enough requests they will make them into prints.

If you’re interested in purchasing these originals you can! They come framed, matted and each is priced at $600. WonderGround Gallery can take orders via email at: [email protected]disneyparks.com  or by telephone at: 877-560-6477.  Just let Mail Order know that they are interested in the Nidhi Chanani artwork from WonderGround Gallery West and they would be happy to let them know if it’s currently available.

After I return I’ll switch into Emerald City Comicon gear! I’ll be in Seattle at the show from March 2-5, booth 409 and on five panels. I’ll post more about that soon. For now I’ll take a tiny break.

I hope you have a great week!

rain lover

rain lover inktober drawing by nidhi chanani

SOLD! They measure 2.5×3.5 inches on bristol board made with a combination of brush pen, color markers, microns and a little dash of colerase pencils. I will update the post with sold if they’re gone ^_^

rain ready

rain-ready

 

In preparation for our trip to Seattle, I painted some rain for watercolor Wednesday ^_^ I also upgraded my travel watercolor set for some lovely kuretake watercolors – I love them!

Purchase info for the watercolors can always be found on my instagram!

Have a lovely week ^_^

minnie + news

minnie

I will be at Disneyland this weekend to close my month feature at Wonderground Gallery. It’s supposed to rain! I am looking forward to it! Hope to see you there ^_^

 

shelter from the storm

shelterfromthestorm

take cover

takecover

i’m trying speed painting in the morning before i work on the books. i drew this in an hour while listening to the rain ^_^

have a great weekend!

seattle rain

seattlerain

we are headed to seattle at the end of this month for emerald city comicon (booth #607) and i’m getting excited. one of my favorite things is seeing the skyline as we drive in. ^_^

yellow umbrella

yellowumbrella

Fall into me (process post)

I had the pleasure of working with a loving couple on a commission recently, V & P. The process was wonderful from beginning to end and with their permission, I wanted to share a bit about my process in creating an illustration.

At the beginning of the commission, I asked V & P to send me some reference photos – I can’t draw them without knowing what they look like ^_^ I also asked them if they had ideas of what they wanted me to draw and if they had favorites from my portfolio. Asking people about their favorites gives me a good idea of the colors, stories and emotions they are looking for… They sent all the requested information as well as a bit about themselves – this included a video that V had made for P on their first anniversary. I thought, okay, I’ll watch it for some more reference on their faces but focus on what they want. They indicated they were interested in a scene in their kitchen cooking together with the Washington Monument in the background (to indicate location). So I drew this:

vpsketch2

But when I watched the video… it was as if V & P were right there with me. Telling me stories about how they met, fell in love and I truly felt as though I knew them. One story in particular stood out, on their first date it began to rain as they were walking which they compared to a bollywood film… Immediately this image popped into my head:

vpsketch

Generally with commissions I try to provide two distinct sketches in two different orientations. But the second sketch wasn’t one they asked for… I wasn’t sure they would like it. It seemed too simple. One of the things that is difficult to convey with a line drawing or sketch is what the transition from the above drawing to the final piece will be… I can see it in my head, but I do this every day! ^_^ I was hopeful that from this basic drawing they could tell where I would end up…

And they could tell! They picked that sketch and V & P only asked me to change the orientation, and indicate that it was fall time – my sketch was approved! Here is the revised sketch:

vpsketchrevise

My illustration work is all digital, so these sketches were created in flash. Once the sketch is approved, I lock the line drawing layers and begin to draw in color over them. I spent a lot of time on the trees, drawing each leaf in the foreground, getting the fall colors right. Because I am drawing for someone else (as opposed to drawing for myself) I take this part slower than normal. I researched reference for the Washington Monument, fall trees in DC, and I watched V & P’s video a few more times (partly for reference and partly because it inspired me ^_^).

This is something I never show, but here is my full color drawing before I take it into Photoshop.

vp1

I often feel that the work I do in Flash is the “hard” work, and the work in photoshop is fun. In the drawing above, you get the idea of the colors, but none of the light, texture, or vibrancy that comes when I work in Photoshop.

I finished the color work in Flash one day and the next day I began to paint in Photoshop. I ended up with over 98 layers – which is more than I have for most drawings. I knew I wanted the sky to have a somewhat thunderstorm-y feel, but I also wanted to have a bright light come from behind the monument. Everything else I painted, added texture, light and shadow intuitively. When you look at the illustration it’s just trees, rain and a couple… but simplicity is deceptive. From the shadows on the sidewalk, to the texture of the grass, each piece, each layer, breathes life into the illustration. The longer I worked on it, the more I feel in love with it.

It’s always nerve-wracking when I feel happy with my work but I’m not sure what the receiving party will think. After all, we haven’t met. We exchanged maybe 20 emails over the course of the commission and in the end I wanted to ensure that V & P loved it like I did.

Lucky for me, they did. And in the end, I feel like they have given me a gift. A chance to peek into their life, understand and be inspired by their love and create a new relationship where there was none.

Art brought us together… and I love that.

vplowres