Old & new

Virginia's Garden Children's illustration


 I started my first blog in 2008, when my son went to pre-school. I wanted to learn how to use Photoshop and I joined a weekly drawing challenge organized by a website called Illustration Friday. My training as an illustrator didn't include digital art, except for some photo retouching classes. Yes, I'm THAT old!

 The blog eventually led to freelance work and became my portfolio for a while. Thanks to a few extra lines of code I could show preview images at the top of the homepage, which made it look like a website. Though it was fiddly to update and in 2017 I moved on to a more professional solution, deleting all my older posts. I use Instagram, but I miss having a place to share longer descriptions or other things that feed my creativity and may not be strictly related to illustration. I knit, I bake, I'm easily distracted by new experiments in my spare time.

 So here is the new blog, born over the old one and going in the opposite direction: after almost ten years of photoshopping, I'm back to paint. Digital illustration helped me work faster and get back to full-time freelancing, without worrying too much about mistakes. I needed that freedom, but I kept going back to traditional mediums as a more relaxing way to spend my time. I tried several techniques that weren't always successful and even with watercolors, I'm still learning. I'd say I'm "evolving", but it sounds pretentious or something out of a sci-fi movie and I'm not nearly as stylish as Jeff Goldblum in The Fly.

 The little girl in the illustration is Virginia, named after my mother's aunt. She was a teacher and didn't have children of her own, therefore she often gifted picture books to her nephews. I still have many of those old books. Some have a dedication that says "From Virginia, with love" in a neat and old-fashioned calligraphy. I like to imagine her as the gatekeeper of a garden full creatures and untold stories.

Virginia's Garden Watercolor Children's Illustration


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