Archive for April, 2013


I have been feeling freakishly prolific lately. Hunkered down in my fortress of awesomeness, living off Junior Mints, white tea, and lots of rad music, I’ve been so completely absorbed in my various projects, I might as well be in another dimension.

Sweet, right?

Most recently I’ve done up a trio of spacescapes. They’ve all been uploaded to my gallery on devaintART, but I am admittedly, possibly insufferably, pleased with these pieces at the moment, so I thought I’d share them here too, along with the layer breakdowns. Each of the breakdowns can be viewed full-size, just click the image. They’re not walkthroughs, exactly, as the process behind things I make is actually pretty darn haphazard. I add and delete layers completely randomly until I come up with something I like. So the breakdowns just give a basic idea of what elements make up the final piece. I thought it’d be kind of cool to show them as well, instead of just throwing up a finished design. Who knows, maybe they’ll even be helpful to some other artist out there or something.

So first up, I created “Marvel”. I had just watched, like, six Marvel movies in the past week before making this particular ‘scape. One of them was playing in the background when I was trying to come up a name for this piece…I think you see where I’m going with this…

Marvel layer breakdown by Karissa Cole ea1701 2013

The day after finishing “Marvel,” I dove right into created this next piece, “I Drop Gems”. Named after “I Drop Gems” by _ensnare_. There really are no words apt enough to describe how awesome this song is. Seriously, if this is your bag, check it out. You may very well fall in love. Don’t judge right away, though. Let it’s awesomeness build up and surround you first.

Besides being named after one of my favorite pieces of music, this work of mine is inspired by eatenwaffle, who I wish had more videos. (You can find eatenwaffle under a different name on deviantART.) There’s not too much of it, but this artist’s work is really stunning. I definitely recommend checking it out if you have the time.

So, here’s the breakdown of my “I Drop Gems”:

I Drop Gems layer breakdown by Karissa Cole ea1701 2013

Finally, after finishing “I Drop Gems,” I thought to myself I should really do a third piece, as three seemed like a nice round number of new designs, so I got to work on “Dreamscape”:

Dreamscape layer breakdown by Karissa Cole ea1701 2013
Of all the ways I could think of to spend three days, traversing the galaxy without even having to change out of my pajamas isn’t all that bad an option.

Super Lazy

"Today I will be super lazy. It's just like being regular lazy, only, I will also be wearing a cape." Illustration © Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved. Do not reproduce.

“Today I will be super lazy. It’s just like being regular lazy, only, I will also be wearing a cape.” Illustration © Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved. Do not reproduce.

I think this is probably pretty self-explanatory.

It started off yesterday as a sketch in my math book (heh heh). I then took a quick picture of it and opened in up in Photoshop, using the photo as my guide. I relied mainly on the pen tool for the outlining, and the brush for the coloring.

Pretty standard tools of the trade I think.

I should really spend more time on these things. But as Super Lazy Girl, I figure I just can’t afford to. I mean, I have important lazy things to attend to.

Except Dead Ends

Originally I was going for inspirational quotes. But I now know I am incapable of not being sarcastic in some way.

 "Worrying is a misuse of imagination." Try thinking about how awesome it would be to have a pet dragon instead.

“Worrying is a misuse of imagination.” Try thinking about how awesome it would be to have a pet dragon instead.

"A good deed can brighten a dark world." If that fails, try a flashlight.

“A good deed can brighten a dark world.” If that fails, try a flashlight.

"If you don't know where you're going any road will get you there." Except streets marked "Dead End". They usually don't lead anywhere.

“If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there.” Except streets marked “Dead End”. They usually don’t lead anywhere.

I think I will file this under the “satire” category in my portfolio.



Impossible by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved ea1701

The latest celestial-themed digital work to come from my tired little brain. I had an hour break at work today, so camped out on one of the computers in the lab. I even remembered to bring my MP3 player (yes, I still use one) and my headphones, so, you know, doubly awesome.

Not really sure how I feel about this piece. I haven’t really been thinking “space” lately. Although, I sure haven’t been down to earth, either.


Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I like to take off walking around the back roads in town, camera usually in tow in case I come across anything interesting to photograph. Saturday I went out walking, but changed my regular route, and went a completely new way. For some reason I didn’t bring my camera though, and ended up kicking myself for it. I walked past interesting buildings, unusual lamp posts, serene landscapes, and even horses grazing (which surprised me, to say the least – I was like 3 minutes away from the center of town).

So yesterday I was determined to take the same new route and capture all the interesting things I had seen the day before. But the world just doesn’t look the same from day to day. Actually, I felt kind of philosophical, thinking about it. Still, I did manage to take a few photos I kind of liked. Here are two of them:

Along the Rode by Karissa Cole 2013 NOT STOCK all rights reserved Along the Rode by Karissa Cole 2013 NOT STOCK all rights reserved

Not much to look at, admittedly. But I saw potential in them.

At this point, I should probably confess that I’m a bit addicted to custom Photoshop actions, and adjustment layers in general. It’s terrible, I know, and I should really seek professional help, I’m sure. But sometimes it pays off. After some aimless tweaking I had turned those photos into these:

2 On the Road by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved 4 On the Road by Karissa Cole 2 On the Road by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

Being a big fan of the warm, vintage kind of style, I quite liked the way these photos looked now, especially the one of the building. But, still, just uploading them as is felt incomplete. I mean, I wanted to share them, but in a more interesting way than “Hey, here are some pictures I took and then edited for no real reason other than because I could.” So I set about finding a good way to combine these photos with some good old general digital art. The warm tones reminded me of old postcards, which led me to create this:

Post by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

Detail shots:

Post up close (1) by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved Post up close (2) by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved Post up close (3) by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

I snagged the wood texture at this source. The rest of the image was very fun, and really quite simple to create. I increased the aged feel of the two photos, even staining them here and there. I then created the back of a postcard, which is so simple it’s almost ridiculous. I downloaded a stamp and placed it in the corner, aging it with the rest of the card. Then, using a decent handwriting font from (the ultimate collection of free fonts, in my opinion) I completed the look.

It’s really not a very complicated idea. It’d probably be a fun exercise for Photoshop newcomers. But I think it’s still kind of a cool way to take your own photos and give them more life. I mean, I don’t want to be presumptuous, but, if every picture tells a thousand words, I think there’s quite a story that could be told here.

Your Paper Friend

You Still Have Me by Karissa Cole 2013

Normally I’m not aware of whatever thought processes, if any, exist while I’m creating something. I just sort of get lost in whatever I’m doing and by the time I’m finished I’m like “Huh. How did that happen?” But for this quickie project, “Your Paper Friend,” I know almost exactly what I was thinking and why.

I’m really not used to this level of clarity. It’s almost unnerving. But the backstory on this piece goes like this: Put bluntly, I’m not a people person. I haven’t many close relationships. So when I come across someone I can think of as a friend, they become very important in my eyes. All I want is for them to be happy, and I’d do anything for them. Usually these people don’t realize how much I care for them. But I typically chalk that up to my own inability to make any kind of sense where emotions are involved. Anway, recently someone I’m not very close to, but care about very much, made a bummed out kind of comment about feeling alone. I wanted to say something to make it all better, but I’m not so good with words. So I started thinking about friendships and caring, and maybe coming up with some way I could show that I cared.

Soon enough I came across paper doll chains. It seems to me they’re often associated with friendship. I thought this was probably due to the linking of hands and what that often symbolizes. So then I thought, what happens when some in the chain break away, stop holding hands? That’s when I imagined some of the paper dolls tearing themselves away from the one, hurting him, and leaving him. But the torn one still isn’t alone. Maybe he doesn’t have the friends he had before, maybe they left him and let him down, but there’s still one left. Sometimes I feel like that one paper doll at the very end of the chain. And those people I think of as my friends, I just want them to know, that even if all the others tear you apart, I’ll still be holding your hand at the end. It might not be much, but it’s still something.

So. You know. That’s what I was thinking when I took this picture.

Sometimes Pineapples Are Boring

I was taking a picture of a pineapple- “the perfect pineapple” I was assured by the seller- but I just couldn’t really get into it, a photo-shoot kind of mood. Still, I snapped a few anyway, opened up Photoshop and started to mess around with the vague pineapple-esque idea that had been floating around in my head.

But it was boring.

So, after shoving that aside, and somewhere between flipping through recommended pages on StumbleUpon and munching on my much loved Junior Mints, I opened up a photo of myself in Photoshop. I had been trying to take a new self-portrait the other day, as I have no good ones past a year ago. Most of the photos came out terrible. The one I opened was no exception. I’m really better off behind the camera. But, for some reason that I honestly can’t remember now, probably boredom, I started messing around with the picture. Before I realized what I was doing or had time to question my intentions or reasoning, I had this:

Digital Girl by Karissa Cole 2013

Adobe Photoshop CS4. Soft round brush + mouse.

I think I kind of have crazy eyes going on here. I warned you, I’m not photogenic.

No great piece of art, admittedly. But it is a self-portrait/digital painting of me. So there we go, a face to go with the rambling posts I do so love to write! Now when you read something silly or creative or funny or annoying or cute or weird, well, you’ll know what the clearly mentally unbalanced writer looks like. Granted, there are photos of me floating around this site and my deviantART gallery, but this is the first one from this year. More important than that, this is the first painting I’ve ever done like this. I’m a bit proud. Of course, when I look at all the amazing artists out there I feel like a little girl showing off her sloppy finger painting. But finger painting is lots of fun and a good way to experiment. So that’s something.

For the painting, I opted to keep the soft kind of style. Actually, it’s probably pretty darn clear that realism was not something I had in mind. I had made the image a bit sharper, but I couldn’t help but prefer the softer, limited detail look. Not sure why, really.

Working in Photoshop when the mood hits is almost always really enjoyable. But trying something new and getting a feeling of success makes things even better. I’m still trying to keep myself busy, keep my mind away from the melancholy that sets in when I think too much. I want to try painting some more. Already have a few ideas in mind. Of course, sometimes it feels like I have so many ideas I just can’t get them all out and done and in an orderly manner like I’d like. You know what they say: So much to do, so little attention span.

Love, imagine, create, scrap, live.

Jee's Studio

Passionnée de scrapbooking, retrouvez ici mes créations ;)

Doodle Addicted

All drawings © Heidi Denney unless otherwise noted

Watercolor Journal

... a place for people with a passion for art

The Poetic Monster

Just a Few Words From a Shy Beast

L&K's Creative Threads

Distinctive Children's Clothing and More


Sweet Musings with a Bitterly Sharp Wit

[ One Velvet Morning ]

Project Life Freebies, Printables & Digital Scrapbooking Templates

Awesome Wallpapers

Hand-Picked, High-Quality Widescreen Walls


art and design (and other stuff, too)

Karissa Cole Design Portfolio

I have a brain and I'm not afraid to use it

Awkward Soul Designs

Knitting, Crochet & Amigurumi Patterns