The Process...

I get asked constantly how I do my pieces and where I get my #inspiration from. I wish I had some amazing story of how I come up with my ideas and #concepts, but I don't. I honestly just paint what I feel like at the time, and what I think would look cool.

My whole life is kind of run on impulses... haha. One morning I will wake up and want to cut the remaining chunk of my hair off, and without even giving it a second thought, I do it. (sometimes I regret it, and sometimes I don't).

(For the record, this was one of the times that I regretted it!)

My art is the same way... I have a LONG list of things that people have asked for, and I do have some fun ideas already planned out for many of those pieces, but a lot of the time, I will just look over the list and something will jump out at me, and that's the one I do next! I usually have many different #photographs that I look at when doing a piece. I take bits of this photo and bits of that photo, and make it into my own composition. I tend to work with the subject matter straight on, I just like it that way. I love symmetry! So I sketch out a basic outline of the subject matter that I'm doing and then I go in and do the watercolor first.

Most of the time I use colors that don't belong to the subject that I'm working on. Sometimes I will take inspiration from different colors I see out in the world, whether it's a sunset, a flower, or a pair of mans swimming trunks. I love playing with complementary colors within a piece.

I never use any grids or rulers to plan out my designs. I actually never plan out my designs at all. I like just going with the flow of the piece and using the natural contour of the face to help me decide what details to add. I try my hardest to make everything as symmetrical as I can. I think I actually use muscle memory and can feel when my lines are the same length from side to side (as crazy as that sounds). I don't use any compasses for my mandalas that's why they aren't always perfect. I think it adds the human element to my art. Anyone can download an app that duplicates their drawings into beautiful #mandalas, but that's not me.

If I make a mistake I just have to figure out how to make it work. It never seems to be in the beginning of the piece, and even if it was, I have already spent hours watercoloring, and I don't want to just trash it. With that said, Dave has only found about 3 pieces in the trash, that just couldn't be saved.

Most of my pieces start out 18x24 size. Those are anywhere between 55-70 hours of work... With the watercolor being between 5-7 of those hours. 11x14 size pieces are between 30-40 hours, and those little moths that I did are close to a 5x7 and they are about 7-10 hours from start to finish! Below is a video of The Making of the Automeris Io Moth that was a part of my "30 Days Campaign." Click the link to learn more about the campaign. Song: Sunset Lover by Petit Biscuit.

I hope this sheds a little more light on what I do and how I do it!!!! Thanks for reading! -Haylee

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Handrawn in Whittier, California

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