The Making of My Digital Collages

Recently, a few of my followers have asked me, “What is a digital collage?” In today’s blog post, I am going to show you how I create digital collages by walking you through a step-by-step making of two of my most recent pieces, “The Sounds of the Trumpet” and “I Hear a Drum”.

As you may know, on the first of the year, I re-committed to creating art each and every day. I love working in my studio best, but sometimes life (and weather!) get in the way and I need alternatives. A robust collection of painting supplies keep me painting and exploring my mediums and style in my home. However, at the beginning of the year I decided to add a new medium to my repertoire and made the decision to learn a digital program for artists called, Procreate.

Procreate is an iPad app made for professional creatives for sketching, drawing, and painting. It utilizes the Apple Pencil for detailed work and to use with its impressive brush library of more than 130 brushes! Procreate allows me to mix and match brushes, manipulate and layer my illustrations, and add unlimited background, texture and detail layers. The layering system gives me complete control over each and every element of my digital collages as you can see in this selection of layers from the piece, “The Sounds of the Trumpet”.

Procreate also allows me to create very large, high-resolution collages. This means that any print or product reproductions I offer enjoy the same vibrant and crisp qualities as my original collage.

It took me a few weeks and lots of trial and error to begin developing my style and palette within the app and I am so glad I persevered! I love how my musical series is developing through this new medium and I have enjoyed stretching myself as an artist too. Adding Procreate to my artist toolbox has also given me the opportunity to bring my art on the go with me when I can’t be in the studio or at home. With a new grandbaby in New York, I know this tool will serve me well!!

Check out this cool time-lapse video of my piece, “I Hear a Drum” and enjoy!

Watch this space for my next blog post. I plan to get more in depth to show how brushes are used and how you can create your own digital collages!

Why Do I Use Bright Colors?

Hi everybody,

Happy Friday! A wet one here in Philly.

Have you ever wondered why I choose the colors I do? 

I love bright and vivid colors! I get energized by my favorite colors… turquoise, oranges, reds. The color of the ocean when I travel, that transparent deep bluish green. The colors of the doors and windowsills in Santa Fe. The colors of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a place where I have been going to for the last 20 years.

I have tried many times to paint with a different color palette but I always end up returning to my usual colors.

I even created an entire series in black and white but had to add a little bit of “my colors” to each painting.

Which had me reflecting a lot about my choice of a bright, bold, vivid palette when I paint… I believe that it has a lot to do with my upbringing and where I come from. As I have mentioned in past posts and in my bio, I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a very colorful city in every aspect. I also come from a very vibrant, energetic family just as colorful as my hometown.

I have so many colorful feelings about my childhood memories in Buenos Aires. One example is the color of the sky. It is deep blue. I remember clear blue days with not a cloud in the sky. It’s a different kind of blue than the sky here in Philly.  I’m not sure why, but I still see it every time I go for a visit. You can also see every color possible when you go to their markets. Everything is fresh, never frozen and it comes through in their colors.

I think you can see what I mean by looking at my most recent encaustic monotypes, Poppy Field and Poppy Garden.

Poppy Field – Encaustic Monotype on paper, 24 x 36.
details of “Poppy Garden”

At some point I will have to challenge myself to paint a series in more subtle colors. Think I can do it? It will definitely take me out of my comfort zone.

What are your favorite colors? 

Have a great weekend!

love,

Dora

Dora Ficher Art
Sol Design Studios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2016 Calendar

Sample of January page

Looking for an “ART” Hanukkah / Christmas gift.  My new 2016 calendar is here.

High quality square 8×8 calendar. Every page has one of my paintings followed by a month page with a quote.

After the year is over each individual painting can be framed as a print.

Calendars are $20. Free Shipping.





Images of 2016 Calendar pages

2016 calendar-12 images for blog

Los Reyes Magos

©Dora Ficher-Los Reyes Magos; Watercolor, pen and ink on watercolor paper. 8x8
©Dora Ficher-Los Reyes Magos; Watercolor, pen and ink on watercolor paper. 8×8

On January 6, most of the Hispanic world celebrates “El Dia De Reyes”, the Epiphany, remembering the day when the Three Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem, arrived bearing their treasured gifts for the Baby Jesus.

Even though it’s a Religious event, in Argentina, everyone celebrates it as more of a fun, gift giving holiday.

On the night, of January 5, before going to bed we used to put our shoes outside our bedroom door. We would also leave hay and water for the camels, and some cookies for Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar. We would leave the hay and the water near a door or a window left open so Los Reyes Magos can enter.

The next morning, we would wake up and had gifts next to our shoes. For us kids it was one of the most fun days of our summer vacation in Mar del Plata.

My cousins, my sisters and I would sleep up on the 3rd floor and try to stay awake waiting for the Reyes Magos. We would take turns looking out the window. Of course we would all fall asleep while waiting.

As we got older this is what we found in our shoes…

This is what was in our shoes when we got older.
This is what was in our shoes when we got older.
My sister Claudia and me in Mar del Plata. We were 6 and 8 yrs. old
My sister Claudia and me in Mar del Plata. We were 6 and 8 yrs. old
With my grandfather, sisters and cousins.
My grandfather on my mom’s side with my cousin’s, sisters and me. We would all wait for Los Reys Magos. I’m the oldest of 12 cousins. There were only 7 of us here, the other 5 were not born yet.

 

This work is part of my Hiraeth (meaning “homesickness”) series.

To read about it, click here and here .

 

Calendar 2015

Looking for an “ART” Hanukkah / Christmas gift.  My new 2015 calendar is here.

High quality square 8×8 calendar. Every page has one of my paintings followed by a month page with a quote.

After the year is over each individual painting can be framed as a print.

Calendars are $20. Free Shipping.




Images-calendar-227x300
2015 Calendar – $20.00

 

From the Train

Hello friends,

As many of you know, I am the co-owner of a summer day camp. This is our 25th summer!


Due to my long summer camp days, I am finding that lately I have neither the time nor the energy to get to my studio. This will be the case until my camp ends at the end of August. Saying this does not mean, however, that I am abandoning my art. That would be impossible, unthinkable. I live in the beautiful city of Philadelphia and ride a train to and from camp where I am inspired daily by the beauty that surrounds me. Equipped with my handy-dandy iPhone camera, I can’t stop taking pictures. I will continue to share these, my summer art, on my facebook art page and here on my blog. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoy taking them.

Happy Summer!

Dora

 

18th Street

I have been painting homes and buildings. My latest pieces are homes I find while walking around center city Philadelphia. This house has an interesting story. When I was 16, I had my 4 wisdom teeth out at one time. In those days, the late 60’s you had to stay in the hospital for this. It wasn’t out-patient how it is these days.

While in the hospital I had a room-mate, someone who was married and older than me. We did become friendly and she invited me to her home on 18th street around the corner from Rittenhouse Square. I remember falling in love with the house and with them. I thought it was so cool to have older friends (early 30’s) and that they paid attention to me. Both she and her husband were artists. I was fascinated with their studios and their art.  I kept in touch with them until I left to go back to Argentina to Art School.

Walking around the other day I passed by the house. This was the house where my room-mate lived. I took some pictures and painted this piece from the photo. I am planning to use it as one of my paintings on my 2015 calendar.

Calendar 2014

My new 2014 calendar is on its way. High quality square 8×8 calendar. The theme this year: My trip to France. Every page has one of my paintings followed by a month page with a quote. You can see it below in the sample.

To see what it looks like: Click on link below (be patient while it is loading all the pages) to see the whole calendar. Please remember that this is a low resolution sample of what the calendar looks like. The colors might be a bit off as well.

Click to see sample—> 2014 Calendar-sample

Calendars are $25. Free Shipping. They will be shipped the 1st week in January.


quantity



Ho, Ho, Ho

©Dora Ficher-Bethlehem

It’s almost Ho, Ho, Ho time. Only 11 more days until Christmas.

What are you doing for the holidays?

We have a full schedule. We will be spending Christmas eve with our little grandson and his parents at their house in Media, Pa. Only about 1/2 hour from center city Philly where I live.

Then on Christmas day we are hopping on a train and going to New York City to celebrate with my son, daughter-in-law and her family. We will then spend a few days in NYC with them.

It’s been a snowy week here in Philly. I think it snowed more this week than it did all of last winter. Here is a photo of how it looked last Tuesday. It was taken from my apartment window up on the 32nd floor.

View from my window ©Dora Ficher

I want to thank everyone who follows my website, and follows me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. You are totally awesome. I appreciate all of your comments and discussions. Thank you for hanging out with me and sharing my art with your friends.

To say Thank you, I am offering a big Holiday sale for any of my available paintings in my shop. I am giving you 20% off plus free shipping. If you find a painting that you would like to purchase, email me at: dora@doraficher.com and I will take the 20% off before you pay.

This sale extends to digital collages as well.

I will also offer 10% off any item on my brand new Sol Design website. Use coupon: holiday10%

With any purchase of my art, or which I am truly thankful and grateful, I am able to donate a portion to Unite for Her. Purchases include both my original art & my products.  I explain more about this great Organization here.

Thank you!

Dora

 

 

The Circle Game

“Circle-Game”, MIxed media, encaustic, oil stick, collage, ©Dora Ficher

When I’m in the studio I paint and listen to music or books. Lately I have been listening to music. I have different playlists which I make myself. This actual playlist I was listening while painting this piece has many of my favorite songs. Each piece I have been working on for the last few weeks represent one of the songs. This is one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs.

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels through the town
And they tell him, “Take your time. It won’t be long now.
‘Til your drag your feet to slow the circles down”

And the seasons they go ’round and ’round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There’ll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through.

~ Joni Mitchell

paintingAweek 8

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