Music is always inspiring, as are those who perform it so brilliantly… My friend Paul is an absolute star on the harmonica; he plays and sings across the musical genres, exuding enjoyment and love of music. He recently had a ‘big’ birthday (along with a party to write home about), and I did this drawing, wanting to capture some of his melody driven personality :)

Pen & Ink portrait of Musician

pen & ink drawing digital painting Annette Abolins
Paul on the Harmonica – Pen & ink | digital painting


illustration for whiskey bottle
The drawing featured as a label on a bottle of whiskey as well :)

Infographic about Swimming

It’s not that these swimmers really need motivating, though as my role in the local swim club extends to managing the website and writing posts, they sometimes get a dose of it anyway :)

I designed this infographic for a bit of fun, as a colourful reminder of some cool reasons to cruise up and down between those lane ropes…

illustrated infographic by Annette Abolins
Infographic – pen & ink drawing, digital drawing and design in Illustrator 

Photoshop  Illustrator  InDesign …

Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign are three of the programs housed under the Adobe Creative Suite. With one (Photoshop) being a raster graphics editor, one (Illustrator) a vector graphics editor, and the third (InDesign) a desktop publishing program… their uses are in many ways entirely different…

When I started learning digital graphics, painting and image editing, Photoshop quickly became my favourite graphics program – I use it practically every day and am still discovering new and exciting ways of working with it. In the beginning, I would often use Illustrator and InDesign in conjunction with Photoshop, more on a ‘need-to’ basis, than a first choice. It’s like having a favourite drawing pen, where your hand and mind feel ‘at one’ with how that pen works and what it will do when you put it to paper… Coming from a traditional background of drawing and painting – Photoshop became that ‘favourite pen’, it took a little longer for the others to become ‘favourite pens’ too :)

As I started doing more design work, I discovered the benefits of using Illustrator and InDesign to create both scalable and print-ready files. More and more, I find that the project determines the tool or tools, and while there’s always more to learn, I am less hampered by my early desire to make Photoshop work for everything :)

Preview of an Empress

The deadline for the 5th Collaborative Aeclectic Tarot deck has been extended to the 1st of April… Time got the better of some of the artists who signed up in the beginning, which left a number of cards without an artist. I can’t say that I have a lot of time on my hands, though being inspired is often all that is needed to make time :)

The Empress was sitting there waiting for someone to put their hand up and I couldn’t help myself. She is, after all, my birth card (3) – so I felt I couldn’t let her pass.

The preview image below shows part of the still in progress artwork… Final version coming soon.

Tarot artwork by Annette Abolins
The Empress – detail, in progress – pen & ink, digital painting

Thank you for visiting and take care
Annette :)

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Diane

    My goodness – that was a very long post, but extremely enjoyable! I loved the black-and-white drawing of Paul: you have beautifully captured him, and I can almost hear the music. I checked out the Stingrays website (it’s great) and I loved the bit you had done on why swimming is good for you. The little ducks are gorgeous (as are all the small children): it almost made me feel as though I should be donning a swimsuit and jumping (I don’t dive) into the water. Finally, the Empress is looking quite gorgeous, but with a 1st April deadline, I can understand that you have absolutely no worries about what to do with your time. Thank you; it was all delightful.

    1. Annette

      The ducks have very nifty ways of including themselves in all things to do with swimming :) Thank you so much for all your kind support, it is 1st of April, and yes, still aiming to get there by the end of the day (night)…

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