Ain't technology grand? Teaching myself Illustrator and Photoshop has been an arduous journey! The tutorials are one thing--and there are some really great ones out there--but once you try to apply the stuff . . . Well, let's just say it doesn't always work out so smoothly in the real world.
I've had the design in my head for awhile. I am completely in love with traditional Native American artwork and I had been collecting bits and pieces of things would one day use to create a cool image. It just took a long time to figure out how to put it together! I started by looking at other designs similar to this one, and thinking about how I could create something that was totally my own. Then I needed to figure out what I already had in my design arsenal that could help me. After I located those elements, then I had to decide how I could draw what was missing.
I am also trying to figure out how to use a Wacom Intuous tablet, too. So, once I placed the horns where I wanted them, I used the tablet to draw in the basic threads that the "necklaces" would eventually become. With the bead strings in place, I started adding the beads themselves. I was trying to get a different look for each piece, so I experimented with different shapes and sizes until I got the basic look I wanted.
As I created these, I fiddled with the colors of essentially each bead. (I can be a bit of a perfectionist!) I wanted to keep the colors all in the same field as the lilies and the feathers, and I think I did that. I took swatches from all the colors in those objects to set up a palette for myself, and then just played around with which ones looked good together and would logically be strung together on necklaces.
This is where the whole "it doesn't always work out the way the tutorials say it will' thing comes into play. I had to create a gradient mesh for each individual bead so I could get the lighting just right on each one. With some of them being odd-shaped, that was quite a task! I had hoped I would be able to just copy and paste them once I had one completed, but that didn't happen because of all the different directions the necklaces went as they looped around each horn. More than once, I found myself thinking that I had bitten off more than I could chew with this design!
Ultimately, I hand-colored each bead, which basically took FOR-EV-ER!
When these were finished, I added the feathers on the ends and placed the lilies, stems, and crystals. At this point, the image in my head was complete, but the design on my screen wasn't. Something was missing. Then, I realized that the space behind the horns was basically an open circle and that a dream catcher would fill it in just beautifully.
So, back to the drawing board to figure out how to get that to work. I had some dream catchers in my toolbox, however, it took awhile to get the one I chose decorated the way I wanted. Yes, more time! Once it looked good, it was a matter of playing with the size and opacity of the thing to get it to work in the design. Then I added the text and Voila! my design.
This design is one of my favorites. It took a very long time to produce, but I am pleased with the results. I'm planning to do more things along these same lines in the near future. I am actually thinking about creating a "dream catcher" collection. I hope you love this design as much as I do and love wearing it, too!
Check out more of my designs in my shop! I'm sure there is one there for you!