Posts Tagged ‘color’




I broke out the watercolor kit for this one!! And actually winded up using a variety of media.

She’s painted in watercolor & gouache with a few collage elements including the flower in her hair and the stamps in her dress. The background is comprised of some old envelopes I’ve had. I scanned them in and composed the background in photoshop since I couldn’t bring myself to rip them up. This way I get to keep the envelopes intact and still use them.

I’ve been wanting to do a fashion series and lately and have been really inspired by the line work and intricate jewelry detail of Indian Pahari paintings. So I’m hoping to incorporate more of that feeling going forward. Let’s see what the next “word” challenge will be…

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You should consider carrying out a Comp Shopping Exercise at least once every season. This will give you an idea of what the retail key trends are and who are the key players.

Prior to going Comp Shopping you should decide on what categories & subcategories you are going to focus on. There are so many things to look at and see, that if you don’t have a plan it’s easy to get overwhelmed and sidetracked.

When you walk out of a store you should be able to critique the category and be able to give valid reasons behind your opinion. Here are some of the things to look for when you go Comp Shopping:


  • Trends and Innovation of Assortment New ideas and trends or safer, last years styles?
  • Themes/ Mood/Subjects/Key Items -What they are standing for?
  • Color Palette – For specific category & overall
  • Details– fabrications, materials, embellishments
  • Overall Assortment – Is it all one manufacture or are they “mix & matching” from multiple manufactures?
  • Seasonality of Assortment– Do they have a whole holiday section/area?


  • SKU Counts– How many Sku’s are they dedicating to each category? How many are gender neural, feminine, masculine? (i.e. They are only carrying 3 Happy Birthday Gift Bags, 2 of which are gender neutral and one that’s feminine)
  • Category– How large is it? How many sub-categories? How many manufactures are in a given category?
  • Inventory Levels– Do they have a ton of one item vs. another, Why?

In Store Experience

  • Window Displays – Are their displays innovation and unique, eye-catching? What type of materials and fabrication are they using. Is there some technique you can incorporate into your illustration. (i.e. Anthropology windows are always amazing)
  • Displays/Propping – Are they stuffing in as much product as they can or are they taking the time to actually highlight a “Hero”. Collections that are propped actually sell better. What type of products are they putting on the End Caps (those are always big buys & top sellers)
  • Customer – who is she or he? What is she/he shopping and purchasing? What is her style and taste? What is she wearing?


  • General Pricing– High End, Mid, Low
  • Markdowns, Clearance Area & Strategy– Do they always have a huge area dedicated to clearance? Why are items marked down? (i.e. seasonal) Was it a “bad” design or just good design that they bought too much of?
  • Signage/Communication -Are they using any illustration or design elements and does it tie back to the packaging? (Target does this really well for Holidays)

Some Stores you may want to Comp Shop at:


Barns & Nobles

Bed Bath & Beyond


Carter’s Outlet

Children’s Place

Cost Plus World Market

Forever 21




Kate’s Paperie


Old Navy

Office Max


Party Place

Pottery Barn



Urban Outfitters



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Spring Suggested color palette from the CHA show. (lighter and more airy)

A few tidbits of advice I received from my art licensing meeting. One of our members, Joan Beiriger attended the CHA Show and was nice enough to give us a download.

Here are the 8 things that I took away. (Of course this is always subjective. So please take it all with a grain of salt.)

  1. If you’re exhibiting a catalogue rack is key! Buyers are more inclined to flip thru that then a flat book on a table.
  2. Coastal Art is really BIG right now.
  3. 2 birds are better them one. And birds with flowers and butterflies is even better.
  4. Cats sell better then Dogs. (Dogs are too species specific.)
  5. Kittens & Puppies sell better then Cats & Dogs.
  6. Food doesn’t sell on greeting cards but works for tabletop
  7. Christmas is the largest  holiday market followed by Halloween (I was surprised by this. I always thought the pecking order was Christmas, Valentines Day and then Halloween)
  8. When you are reviewing a contract there is a BIG difference between May  and Shall

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Altoids Watercolor Palette

This weekends project. So much fun and I’m totally loving it along with my new waterbrush. My sketch book entries look so much nice in color!!

You will need:

1. Altoids Tin

2. Sculpey Clay

3. Pencil or chopstick (to make the holes)

4. Tube Watercolor


Sculpt clay into Tin

Make number of desired holes (to hold colors) with a eraser end of a pencil

Bake following Sculpey directions

Let cool and then fill holes with watercolor paint. Let dry and there you have it!

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