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Art Update: Create Collections Class with Victoria Johnson

Art & Illustration Sketchbook

I'm back again after another great Victoria Johnson class, this time on the theme of creating collections. (You can see my post on the Create Christmas class here.)

The idea of an illustration collection is that you work on multiple pieces around a single theme and with a similar color palette. This helps make the creation process a bit smoother, since you have set yourself some limitation in the beginning, and it can also make it easier to sell multiple pieces of art to the same customer, since they tend to go nicely together.

The first part of this process is creating a color palette. Victoria asked us to look at artwork we like and see what colors we tend to gravitate toward. For years, I've been keeping a Pinterest board of art I like, so this is where I started. I used the color dropper in Photoshop to simply grab every color that drew my eye.

color palette

Once I had a nice collection of colors, I organized them so I could really see what I had.

color palette

Once I had my color palette, it was time to start experimenting with how they would work together in an illustration. I just chose a random sketch from my sketchbook that I enjoyed...

flower girl sketch

...and started playing with colors.

flower girl color sketches

It was so interesting to me to see how one collection of colors could yield so many different feelings in a single drawing.

I landed on a collection of pinks and greens (though I think I will go back and redo this illustration with the lower left color scheme from the above image), and then used that same color palette in my subsequent illustrations.

flower girl

Once I had the color palette settled, it was time to start thinking of more images to go with my collection theme, which was florals with a bit of a twist.

create collections sketches

And then it was just a matter of creating the rest of the artwork.

dapper frog

clover butterfly

i chew you

The goal at this point is to use the same colors, with just a couple of additions or subtractions, in each piece, but to adjust the balance between those colors so each piece feels unique.

this was such a different way of approaching color theory for me, and I feel like it has really solidified some of my likes and dislikes with color palettes in a way that is making color selection go a lot faster. I have been using that same color palette image from above for all of my art lately, and it's so nice to have a collection of colors that feels very "me" to choose from.

Once again, Victoria knocked it out of the park with this Create Collections class, and I can't wait to learn more from her. And I've found that she's very right about how well collections sell together; customers often buy these pieces together, since they fit so nicely.

I can't wait to take more of Victoria's classes.

Products featuring the art in this post:

Dapper Frog sticker
Dapper Frog greeting card
Dapper Frog print
Dapper Frog bookmark

• Clover Butterfly sticker
• Clover Butterfly greeting card
Clover Butterfly print
• Clover Butterfly bookmark

• I Chew You sticker
• I Chew You greeting card
• I Chew You print
• I Chew You bookmark

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