Grey Walls Don’t Have to be Boring!

As I showed you all last week, we painted our studio walls grey. On its own, grey is very subdued and can be a bit dull if there isn’t enough variety in decor to accent it. While I was pitching grey as a wall color to Tim before we painted, I looked at several spaces using grey as the wall color to prove that it can be done and it can be fun! It’s especially appropriate in a setting where both of us, for painting and photography, will want to hang lots of work up and edit work in a neutral space.

(via Refinery 29)

(via Refinery 29)

Every color here really stands out from the grey, even the white furniture. Having clear furniture is nice in a small room to give the illusion of more space, but any color would work just as well since the walls are so neutral. When sitting at that desk I’d be more apt to focus on the task at hand, since everything would look so in focus against the grey.

(via Apartment Therapy)

(via Apartment Therapy)

I love how bright the roses on those pillows are and how much they stand out. Almost anything goes for print or pattern in a grey space! We don’t have curtains in our studio yet, and will have to find some, since the sun beats inside in the afternoons and it gets really warm. Those chevron curtains above look perfect for the space, so chic!

(via The Decorista)

(via The Decorista)

Going light is definitely easier to stomach than going dark, since dark walls run the risk of shrinking a space. Something like a floor rug could be the focus point in a space like this. Seeing the flowers and that gorgeous chair, I think I may be a little bit of a sucker for pink in a space, what can I say? Thanks to a recent sale at Kent’s I was able to pick up a pink computer chair, which had me over the moon. That industrial spiral light fixture is superb. Wish I could get my hands on some spot lights, or other industrial lighting…

(via Design Sponge)

(via Design Sponge)

The framed prints on this warm grey wall really stand out. Tim could get a set of prints framed, or I could frame a set of marker drawings and achieve a very similar look. Those prints are an example of how matting something (the white area around the image itself) gives it more presence. Light and bright colors in particular work best against a grey, which is fortunate since I love to work with those colors most. Having the neutral furniture really draws your eye to what’s on the walls. What a smooth, relaxing space.

(via Kitschy Living)

(via Kitschy Living)

This dresser made from milk crates is just awesome. Doing research into grey spaces made me realize how much of an ideal color it is, especially for those just starting out in the renting game! If you find yourself with lots of mismatching furniture, photos and art, but don’t have enough money to rush out and buy color coordinating everything, choose a neutral color for the walls to tie everything together. The decor above is a bit eclectic, but works well in this space. If pure grey looks yucky to you, you could choose a grey that leans more towards purple, or green, or blue.

The Cool & Sexy Illustrations of Babs Tarr

Babs Tarr’s style is a funky mix of fashion and cartoons, with lots of sharp lines and curves to bring her subjects to life. I love how animated her figures are and all the bright color she uses, along with line-work and splotches of texture that look traditional, even though most of her work is digital.

toothpick by Babs Tarr

toothpick by Babs Tarr

The limited color palette in this image helps draw attention to the figure, grey/green among the pink and blue. Tarr’s grasp of anatomy is excellent, allowing her figures to almost strut across the frame. I love how many little details she includes, like the girl above chewing away on a toothpick, the script tattoo on her arm and the tooth through her ear lobe.

RAD Girl by Babs Tarr

RAD Girl by Babs Tarr

This screams 80’s and rather than being cheesy, it really pops! Unlike the first drawing, this one doesn’t any thick black outlines, allowing the neon colors to really show through and sort of burn your eyes the way neons did back then. The pink cheetah-skin skateboard with bright green wheels is just hilarious! She uses white in subtle ways to brighten the area around the subject, through the cheetah pattern and finger prints.

July 4th 2012 Outfit by Babs Tarr

July 4th 2012 Outfit by Babs Tarr

The chunky brush textures here remind me of a pastel or pencil crayon drawing, though this is digital. It becomes obvious pretty quickly that Tarr puts a lot of effort into the fashion aspect of her work. In fact, in the above drawing of her very own outfit from the 4th of July, she lists off each piece of clothing and and where you can buy them, on her deviantart page! I thought this a really nice touch and love that she shares her style with everyone.

Spy Girl by Babs Tarr

Spy Girl by Babs Tarr

This gets me excited for the new James Bond movie coming in November! Tarr’s subjects are beautiful and flowing but she’s also able to create breath-taking and narrative backgrounds. I struggle with making my subjects really fit into the background, but here the flow is effortless. I love the way the bright pink explosion lays a pink light on everything. I’ll be honest, I just love that there’s a bright pink explosion.

At the Moma by Babs Tarr

At the Moma by Babs Tarr

Though she does a lot of illustration and more cartoon-y work, she has a background in oil painting techniques as well. The above is an oil self-portrait, from a photograph her sister took of her at the MoMa in NYC. I particularly like the way she painted the windows in the buildings across the street. Her shapes are well blended and shaded in a very life-like manner.

The Noise by Babs Tarr

The Noise by Babs Tarr

The symmetry of the subjects here is really cool. This work is another one of her oil paintings. The clouds are vibrant and flow in such a way to draw your focus around the two subjects. The girls’ black clothing really stands out against the richness of the colors in the sky and clouds. It’s impressive that she painted the individual bits of zipper in the jackets, and links in the chains they’re wearing. The texture in the jeans is very nice as well. Her deviantart page for this drawing mentions that the shoes are inspired by Alexander McQueen.

Rolling Bulls by Babs Tarr

Rolling Bulls by Babs Tarr

Drawings on their own are one thing, but making the illustrations appropriately spaced for text and information is another skill all together. The figures above flow in such a way to draw your eyes to the text at the bottom. I love the sketchy-feel of this piece.

To be a successful illustrator, I think you have to have the fundamentals of art down: be awesome with a pencil, know your lighting, be comfortable with anatomy and know how to make a great composition. She has all of these skills in spades and it really shows. Great work, Babs!

Pretty In Pink

Sorry I didn’t get this up on Saturday! I’m afraid I can make no promises about timing of posts over the next two weeks. We’re moving on the 27th and have a lot to do before then, so I’ll try and make posts when I can.

One of the great things about fashion is that it has so many different aspects, from practical to artistic. I like to observe trends and keep up with style, but at the same time I love to see completely out-there looks that you’d never find in a store window, bordering on costume. These outfits are the fashion-version of paintings to me.

via acceptable (on tumblr)

via acceptable (on tumblr)

Anything involving strong colors and flowers pulls me in immediately. I’m a big fan of fantasy books and movies and love observing all the different takes on that kind of fashion. The veil over her head adds an interesting texture to the mix and throws the colors into a beautiful chaos. The ambiguity of our subject makes it more interesting still.

via BeforeYouKillUsAll

via BeforeYouKillUsAll

The nose to ear chain here is really intriguing. Paired with the suit, it really stands out. I love how his eyebrows have been reshaped with pink makeup. The palette in this photo is fairly minimalistic, sticking mainly to pink, white and brown, bringing unity to all the different elements of his style.

via localshop (on tumblr)

via localshop (on tumblr)

There are a lot of different textures happening here: silky, furry, smooth, floral, beaded… it’s hard to tell where she ends and the clothing begins. It’s kind of hard to tell what’s going on in this picture, but that makes me want to examine it all the more. There’s a subtle gradient of purple to pink from the bottom up, emphasizing her fur shrug/collar. All the elements of this photo exist in a delicate balance, the composition guiding your eye around in a loop to take it all in.

via Trendland

via Trendland

This model’s larger-than-life hair gives her the appearance of a doll which is definitely what her clothing reminds me of. I wish her expression was more playful, though. The pink and green really work well together; I wouldn’t think much of the belt and the dress apart, but together they make sense.

Atelier Versace Fall 2012 | Paris Haute Couture via FashionGoneRogue

Atelier Versace Fall 2012 | Paris Haute Couture via FashionGoneRogue

Her sandals are gorgeous! I love shoes that have lots of straps, even if they aren’t necessarily practical. There are a lot of contrasting patterns in the design of this dress. I really like the ribbing of the corset against the huge flowing panels of fabric. Layers of floating fabric and patterns give the illusion that she’s floating down the runway.

T-minus one week until I leave work, and two weeks until we move! Here’s hoping I can keep my sanity throughout this adventure. Weeeeeeee!

Female Portrait Tattoos

The female portrait/gypsy tattoo trend is still running strong! There are lots of different takes on this tattoo style floating around the internet. Tumblr is an excellent resource for this type of thing, but instagram is quickly catching up.

by matt_gtp (instagram)

by matt_gtp (instagram)

The traditional style of this line work in the hair brings out the multicolored leaves in the rose. I like that she has tattoos (tattoos within tattoos)! The blending for the simple makeup on her face is well done and really draws your eye to her thoughtful expression.

by Rachel Jamie Baldwin at Modern Body Art Birmingham England.  (via fyeahtattoos on tumblr)

by Rachel Jamie Baldwin at Modern Body Art Birmingham England. (via fyeahtattoos on tumblr)

Loving the colors and style of this tattoo, very different from what I’ve been seeing so far. The wide-eyes and bright pinks and purples make this tattoo really pop. Very fun, like the composition with the blue clouds surrounding her. Her expression and the details draw your eyes up the piece.

by dansmithism (instagram)

by dansmithism (instagram)

Medusa tattoos are becoming more popular, and each artist has a different version of what she should look like. The greyscale version above is more severe, with a barbed wire necklace and live snakes writhing from her head. With black and white tattoos, it’s all about the shading; thanks to the expert job on this one, each snack and accessory is easy visible, from scales to the third eye earring to the rose.

by Chris Bailey

by Chris Bailey

At first I thought this was a Medusa tattoo as well, but I think it’s a gypsy of the sea. The pearls and tentacles entwine with her flowing hair, each with colors that complement the other. Most tattoos that I’ve seen use solid colors for the hair, but in this one they’re varied a bit and shaded more carefully. I like how her lips match her eyes.

by Alex Lazarini

by Alex Lazarini

The style of the gypsy above is more realistic. Even though this tattoo isn’t finished yet it’s looking great so far! The jewels and feathers in particular are very pretty. The soft fade of the blue in the feathers is very nice, makes them look bright. I can’t wait to see how the snack is colored! This design is another that is very well composed, balancing a lot of different elements in the piece.

by J.D. Kittell at Ocala Tattoo in Ocala, Florida (via fyeahtattoos on tumblr)

by J.D. Kittell at Ocala Tattoo in Ocala, Florida (via fyeahtattoos on tumblr)

Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple; the above tattoo does just that. The rose and feather frame this girl’s head and show off her makeup and hair. The blush is echoed in the rose and background, while the feather color is echoed in her eye makeup. This design is very unified and lovely.

With so many options and styles for portrait tattoos, I can’t see their popularity dying out any time soon. If you want one but are unsure of what to get, research your local shops and talk to an artist! They’ll help you come up with something awesome and unique that fits you perfectly.