Buffalo Dreams

illustrations, Redbubble Shop, Skulls

I made an abstract post a while back called Playing with Pastels that had close ups of this piece as a work in progress…though the piece was finished quite a while ago I did not post the final outcome because I wanted to have it professionally framed – fun fact, this is the first piece I have ever gotten professionally framed!

This started off as a quick pencil sketch I did at the end of inktober 2015 (this was the first inktober that I participated in, more about that here).

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Inspired by a piece I did about 2 years ago, where I wanted to experiment with a couple of black canvases I picked up from Michael’s and my tinted charcoals (more about this piece here) where I took my #31 inktober 2015 piece as inspiration to build upon.

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Inktober 31

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Using my small sketch for reference, I penciled an outline on a black 18″x24″ canvas, then applied layers and layers of pastel, pencil crayons & charcoal; constantly switching between the three mediums until I was sure the piece was complete.

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Due to the dusty nature of chalk pastels, I started at the centre of the subject and worked my way out, saving the background for last; not wanting to risk smudging any loose pigment onto the black surface.

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This sat around in my studio for months, I was afraid to transport it anywhere!

Now I know what you are thinking “isn’t there a protective spray you can use to prevent smudging?” believe me, I tried it! The drawback of the protective spray was that it was not 100% protected – chalk pastels being more loose than graphite there is also risk of some loose pigment being scattered among the work – plus it dulled the colours, so I needed to go over the piece again with the pastels to revive this lost vibrance.

When it came time for framing I carefully wrapped the piece in brown packing paper. I am very proud of this piece and due to the risk of smudging I was pretty leery to leave it in the hands of strangers. Not sure if there were any good framers in the area, I decided to go to our local Michael’s, where they made a special note to be vary careful with the piece as it is prone to smudging; needless to say the staff there did a fantastic job and were very gentle with the piece 🙂

I couldn’t believe how many different combinations and choices there are for frames & matting; in fact, we probably spent about an hour looking at different matting choices!

For me the frame was simple, I wanted something a bit more modern and black – fortunately they had a 40% deal when I went in (framing this 18″x24″ beast was just under $500 CND and would of been over $700 CND without the deal…highway robbery if you ask me lol but they need to run their business too lol). The matting on the other hand is what took the most time, is was very interesting to see how different combinations looked with the piece and how it could go from a strong masculine piece to a dainty feminine piece in a flash! Personally, I prefer a more masculine, modern look (makes sense with what I have learned about my work during my first Artwalk haha). So I chose a black frame with charcoal grey, pomegranate red wine and black matting – I really wanted to have the red wine accent colours pop – some of the other matting was either just not the right colour combinations or were too much like the dominant colours that the piece felt pale and blended with the matting.

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I also asked if I could write the name of the piece & sign the matting – since this was my first original being framed I thought it would be a nice touch – and the staff were more than happy to oblige. When the matting arrived, they called me and I went in (bought a couple of jelly roll white pens) and decided upon the name “Buffalo Dreams” and signed the matting.

Buffalo Dreams seemed like a perfect fit for the piece, making it whimsical and spiritual. Growing up my mother had a huge dreamcatcher – made of red wood with purple crystals, black leather ties and feathers – when we had nightmares my mom would either put the dreamcatcher in our rooms for the night or longer if need be (probably to keep us in our own beds to get some proper rest, smart lady!). That was until she got us our own small dreamcatchers. She would tell us that they are made special to protect us in our sleep; if you have a nightmare it cannot hurt you as the dream catcher acts like a spider web, catching all the negative dreams, spirits and thoughts to purify or trap them in the crystals so you can sleep safe and sound.

If you have a piece that is special to you or are very proud of go ahead and spoil yourself a bit and get it framed! I find frames (even cheaper ones from department stores) really make a piece look polished and complete.

Prints and other swag available in my Redbubble shop of this piece (more about my shop can be found in an earlier post here Redbubble shop). If you are interested in purchasing the original please contact me and I can let you know the price and we can work out shipping/pick up arrangements.

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Remember to follow me on Instagram & Twitter @noelle_fontainec to see what kind of creative mischief I have gotten myself into.

Thank you for reading 🙂

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Bear Watercolour Illustration

illustrations, Redbubble Shop

This illustration came about while on a family camping trip, near crows nest pass. I was sitting at our picnic table with my watercolour pencils & paper (more on materials here), when I noticed one of my watercolour illustrations was tucked between some of the blank pages; my geometric buffalo illustration.

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The combination of finding this lost illustration with being surrounded by beautiful trees & mountains inspired me to create a similar piece with a woodland creature – bears in particular – these beautiful, gentle, yet fierce animals who rule the mountain side.

Wanting to make the new illustration more powerful in colour & shapes, I planned the geometric designs/patterns out in pencil before outlining in ink (instead of inking on the fly like the buffalo), which made the inking process quicker & colour choices a bit easier; allowing me to play with different shades of colour opposed to the inking to give the piece more dimension.

Overall, this illustration is much more solid & put together compared to the buffalo. I am very pleased with the final outcome & have received a lot of positive feedback at artwalk & online.

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Bear Watercolour Illustration

This illustration is also available in my Redbubble shop as prints, appareal, gifts & more! Check it out here: Noelle Fontaine’s Redbubble Shop

Please let me know what you think of this piece & which you prefer – the Bear or the Buffalo.

And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram or Twitter for the most up to date info on new creations & promotions!

Thanks for reading 🙂

My First Artwalk YEG 2017 

Events

Participated in my first Artwalk this year, it was such an awesome experience. I was excited and terrified to see my work displayed next to other artists lol all of the feelings were felt!

There were also some things discovered about me and my work: a lot of my illustrations are more masculine, I still have quite a variety of different styles of work – some people thought there were 4 different artists in my tent lol and stepping out of my comfort zone to engage with people looking at my work – being some one with social anxiety, this was terrifying to say the least, but it is one of those things that help you grow as an individual to better yourself and your skills so you just gotta power on through – which was becoming a little less terrifying each time 🙂

I was on 83rd Ave all weekend (July 7, 8 & 9th, 2017) from 10am-5pm each day. The spot I had was fantastic: right across the park where there was live entertainment, between both the crafter’s market and Farmer’s market; however, the majority of people walking through this area were of an older and a more family orientated crowed – now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with an older and more family orientated crowd, it is just that my sales were not so great. It was my first year, so there have been a couple of lessons learned, one of them being that my work appeals to a younger/more niche crowd. So next year I will see if I can be positioned along Whyte Ave as this is more of where my target market will be; I just hope the weather is as beautiful next year as it was this year!

Special thank you to my volunteers, supporters and @thepaintspot plus all the sponsors for creating this great event!

Follow my Instagram and Twitter for live updates @noelle_fontaine

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INKTOBER 2016, accomplished

illustrations

Inktober has already come and gone, it seemed to happen so fast!!

This was my second year participating in inktober, you can check out last years blog post inktober 2015, many random ink pieces were created lol I found it a bit hard to squeeze in time to get these done but I am very happy I was able to complete the challenge and work on my inking skills!

October is usually a crazy month for me (making my niece & nephews halloween costumes, freelance work, full time work, participating in the night of fear festival media promos & event itself) so I decided to get a bit more organized & go with a theme: horror & macabre  movies & tv series.

Please let me know what you think!

Buy Prints Here!

Don’t forget to follow me on my social for instant updates 🙂

Happy 20th B-Day Big Little Brother!

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My big little brother turned 20 January 23rd…so crazy!!

He is a Halo MASTER!!  – more about this in next weeks post about his birthday present, you probably saw on my social media if you follow me on instagram, twitter, facebook or tumblr lol

Here is his Halo 20 Birthday cake!

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The recipe for this is similar to the one I did for my newphew’s 7th Birthday Take Typography Out Of the Box & Play A While except I used a chocolate pudding instead of vanilla or oreo; again using oreo cookie crumbs for the top decoration.
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Last year I made him a chocolate mindcraft cake, which was a lot of fun, one of the first cakes I really experimented with that was not for a school project lol a couple of years ago we made a cookbook and had to make the recipe & photograph the outcome, so I had some fun with this making my Red Velvet Raven Cake.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Huevember 2015?

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This year was the first year I participated in Inktober (LINK) and am very proud of myself for competing the challenge; I was talking to my friend about how exciting it was for me to start, participate and complete and while she was on her Tumblr she saw a post about Huevember!

This is another challenge similar to Inktober but with Hues: 30 hue pieces in 30 days, you can add other colours as long as that hue of the day is the focal point.

This image is what she sent me:

Click Here for the Huevember Facebook Page

I was very excited to hear about this challenge as well, this is something that would be more challenging for me as I feel like colour theory is a department I should work on to improve. I do not think I will participate in this challenge this year but will next year…or later in the year as another month’s project 😛 we will see how she goes. I have some plans to make some creative pieces to sell for the Holiday Season this year and need to focus on these ideas before taking on another challenge, more on this to come later this month.

If you choose to participate in Huevember post it on your social and tag me, I would love to see what you come up with for this challenge!

Instagram & Twitter: @noelle_fontaine

Thank you for reading 🙂

Homemade Halloween Costumes 2015

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I know this is a bit past Halloween but if you read my last post: Welcoming November you will can see October was an extremely busy month lol

This year I made my niece & nephew’s Halloween costumes, my nephew wanted to be Bob the Minion – he was extremely excited & mentioned he had the perfect teddy bear to take with him – my niece wanted to be Mal from Disney’s descendants – of course with her attitude it only made sense lol

My older sister (mother of my niece & nephew), our mom & I searched high & low looking for overalls for a 7 year old boy at multiple second hand stores, walmart, superstore & winners but could not for the life of us find any, so I made some instead.

My dad gave me an old pair of ripped jeans he had, the back pocket was the perfect width of my nephew’s chest. I cut a out the back pocket of one of the legs, making a panel with about 10 inches wide & 12 inches high with an added 1/2 – 1 inch of clearance for a seam on the top & sides. I then cut the straps out of the pant legs: 28 inches long plus 1/2 an inch to seam the top & 3 inches wide using 3/4 inch from both sides as a seam, making the strap 1 1/2 inches wide once seams are sewn. Then sewed the straps to the packet panel with two large matching black buttons, added button holes to the bottom of each strap & four on the bottom of the button panel. I then took a current pair of my nephew’s jeans, turned them inside out & sewed four buttons to the front waste band & two to the back; this way the overalls panel & buttons could later be removed and his pants were back to normal. As a final added touch I airbrushed the “G” on the front by making a stencil of the “G” & mixing fabric medium with airbrush paint. He wore a long sleeve yellow shirt, a yellow toque & face paint – I also got him a bald cap, painted it yellow, that he wore for school & even under his toque lol that boy means business when it comes to Halloween!

For my niece’s costume I bought a woman’s small white blazer from a second hand store as a cheap, clean canvas to work on. I printed out a reference photo of Mal’s jacket & free hand airbrushed everything except the dragons in the heart on the back (I cut out a stencil to ensure crisp clean lines). There were some other pieces I wanted to add to the costume but could not find the time, like the bottom “skirt” with the asymmetrical cut, high collar & dragon wing shoulders. I was, however, able to cut the jacket, giving it an asymmetrical collar similar to Mal’s & airbrush the illusion of studs.


These costumes were a bit of a challenge as I am not a seamstress by any means lol So it was a bit frustrating at times when it came to sewing, but you cannot improve if you do not try! The jacket itself was a bit of a lengthy process & was the first time I have ever airbrushed on clothing, I used a 1:1 ratio of airbrush fabric medium & paint…if anyone out there knows if this is correct or not please let me know lol it seemed to be the safest bet at the time & worked pretty good as the paint did not crack, peal or harden too stiff on the fabric, it even withstood the rain on while we were trick or treating!
Through the challenges, difficulties, frustrations & many a late, late nights it was worth it in the end to see how happy they were to have these homemade costumes to dress up in that can be special memories & mementos for them when they are older.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Welcoming November!!

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October was probably my busiest Month this year!

Between teaching myself…rather giving my self crash courses on how to do Special FX make up & Face Painting, the first Global News Press release for Night of Fear Festival, where I painted my sister as a green zombie & did some special FX make to promote me at the event: Press Release Link

Making 17-20 zombies with another spray artist and an Author helping with latex  the following weekend: Night Of Fear Fest Zombies

Branding & building a new Facebook page, website, signage, price lists, signup sheets & business cards for my side project: Inspiring Designs Body Art to further my creative career in other ways while making a little bit of extra income.

Thanksgiving with my boyfriend’s family & celebrating his birthday.

A 4-5 hour pro-bono face painting session at Spirit Halloween to promote my business then go to an AMAZING Slipknot concert the next day – my boyfriend’s b-day present & some tasty treats I made that he likes to eat.

My Niece’s 9th birthday, baking then decorating her cake & my side of the family’s Thanksgiving the following weekend. (Link to come)

Being haunted by some old ghosts that just wont leave me alone.

Making my Niece & Nephew’s Halloween costumes. (Link to come)

The actual 2 day Night Of Fear Festival Event (LINK) Making my first official client into an undead creature: Link to the Undead Then taking my niece & nephew trick or treating – my dad usually takes them every year but last minute was not able to come out sooner; since they are 7 & 9 I brought them out to start and my dad came by later to join us 🙂 While doing this my sister Marie and her boyfriend were able to come over and tend to the trick or treaters for me – they were coming over to watch horror movies while I did the door anyway this year so it worked out perfect.

Finally, I decided to also take on another awesome creative challenge: Inktober! You can read more about this and see my illustrations by clicking here: INKTOBER to read my Inktober blog post.

…it was a very busy month to say the least lol so I am welcoming November with open arms to hopefully catch up on some sleep and experiment with other creative things 🙂

Thank you for reading 🙂

Inktober 2015 – Achievement Unlocked!

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This year, on top of my side project (airbrush tattoos & face painting) and making my niece & nephew’s Halloween costumes, I made the commitment to participate in INKTOBER!!

I heard about this last year through some friends, I saw they were posting numbered ink illustrations almost everyday, I thought “WOW! they have been doing a lot of ink in a short amount of time, whats motivating them? and what is up with the numbers?!” so I asked them and they told me about Inktober.


Inktober was started from an illustrator named Jake Parker, who’s work is amazing! Mr. Jake Parker wanted to work on his inking skills and build good drawing habits, thus creating a challenge for himself to stay motivated while practicing. What started out as a  personal challenge is now practiced by many illustrators and artists around the world.

The challenge is to create 31 ink based illustrations, sketches or drawings in 31 days; now one can draw 1 drawing each day or as many as you like in a day as long as the end result is 31 inked pieces (pencil underdrawings are okay too) and having a fun time challenging yourself while practicing your inking skills.

Use any style of ink: Felt, Pen or Brush & Ink, Ballpoint, Ink Wash; you can also take go further by combining your ink illustrations with other mediums: Pencil Crayon, Water Colours, Paint, Digital and more!

The point it to challenge yourself and practice, but having fun doing it!

Find out more about Inktober at the creators site here: INKTOBER


Last year it was a bit too late for me to participate, so I made sure I made a note to give this challenge a try for the coming year! Here are my sketches:

I have completed the challenge and can honestly say I loved it! It has challenged me to make time to sit down and draw; something I was planning on trying to do myself, but to no avail started even though I purchased a small moleskin sketchbook in attempts to create an initiative to start, but it was not really until this challenge have I really made the time to do so; i also made a good dent in the number of pages filled in this book.

Inktober inspired me to practice creative thinking and inking skills, challenging to adopt the discipline of making time to sketch at least 1 thing (big or small) each day to improve my skills.

It is a fun challenge your can share with your friends and family or other creatives on any social platform your can post images to; search and tag your work #inktober to see who else is participating and what they were inspired to create.

You can follow me on Instagram @noelle_fontaine or any of my other social media platforms to see what other illustrations or designs come up next.

Let me know your thoughts, favorites and critiques.

Thank you for reading and have fun inking!  🙂