Custom Art

40+ years of experience shine through in every custom piece! Learn more here.


Imagine your home filled with ocean decor from Dawn’s studio! SHOP here!

Join Our VIP Club!

Get first dibs on art, news, and giveaways!
Join today! It’s FREE!

Tag: camper

Creating Adult Coloring Book

Creating Adult Coloring Book

Skelly on a rusty bikeHappy Halloween! Just a few days away from a spectacular full-moon-on-a-Saturday Halloween! Buckets of candy? Check! Skelly on a bike? Check! Costume? Not yet…but I’m working on something that won’t be scary to the wee folk. I could give out candy in my civvies, but where’s the fun in THAT?

Roasted Pumpkin SeedsFour pumpkins have been carved, and the seeds are roasted! I am seriously addicted to fresh roasted pumpkin seeds, and I look forward to them all year long. I don’t do anything fancy to mine. As I pull pumpkin guts, I place the seeds in a bowl of water. Then I rinse and swish them around in a colander in the sink, removing the last of the pumpkin shrapnel. Soak the seeds in very salty water for about an hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place drained seeds in a shallow baking tray (with sides), and sprinkle with salt (or add cayenne or garlic or butter). Put in the oven for 20 minutes, take them out, stir them so they all get premium heat exposure, and then put back in the oven. I keep repeating 20 minute cycles until they are crispy. Allow to cool, then store in a jar. See how long you can make them last!

Using garden photos as reference.Huzzah! “My Mother’s Garden” Adult Coloring Book is off to the printers and should be in my etsy by mid-November! Almost half were spoken for during pre-orders, so grab your copy before they are gone.
I had such a great time creating this one, there will be at least two more. The next? “Ocean Rhythms”! This book is unusual in that the artwork is done in an artist’s sketch style instead of computer-generated line drawings, so as you color the pages in, you become the artist! Here are the steps I went through to create this sketchbook-style coloring book:

  1. Select 25 photos of Mom’s garden (the book will be 26 pages, including intro).
  2. Create sketches using the photos as reference.
  3. Ink the sketches with a fine-line marker, so they’ll look crisp in the book.
  4. Erase all the pencil lines (note to self: buy electric eraser). Double check to make sure all pencil is gone.
  5. Scan each at 300 DPI.
  6. Do digital touch ups, add borders/text, and then export as a cpt, flattened jpg, and pdf, using Corel.
  7. Create front cover and back cover graphics in Corel. Export cpt, jpg, pdf.
  8. Create cpt with interior intro page text. Save as cpt. Export as jpg and pdf.
  9. Create pdf file including ALL the flattened images. Basically, the book as a pdf.
  10. Triple check that EVERY word and page looks EXACTLY how it should. Check it again.
  11. Upload files to printer and place my order for a proof copy.
  12. Approve hard copy proof. Finalize full order.

mmg08   mmg10  bookpromo10.15

Another huzzah! We just got word that our vintage camper is going to be featured in the November 2015 issue of Vintage Camper Trailers magazine! *happy dance* If you love vintage trailers, you need a subscription to this glorious mag (and I didn’t get paid to say that). It is an invaluable resource of materials, ideas, and rally schedules, and the photos are downright amazing. Vintage trailer folk are a special breed, for sure, very generously sharing info and kindnesses at rallies and across the internet. Look up VCT on Facebook or their website, and when you subscribe, tell Paul that Eclectic Dawn sent you!

Tiki book
Click to go to our etsy.

If you need a great stocking stuffer for the adults, how about a little book of tiki history, drink and food recipes, and even a few sketches to color in?
Grab your copy here:

shirtWe’ve added more dance items to our zazzle shop in a huge variety of colors and styles, such as our most popular “5,6,7,8 Dancer Clocks”: bellydancers, leaping modern dancers, in orange, blue, green, purple, aqua…with various beautiful background designs, and we’ve added WATCHES, too. ALSO, a whole new category of “I Heart Dance” items! I adore this swing shirt as comfy practice wear!

Two upcoming local sales where you can get EDA one-of-a-kind goods: (EVENTS ARE OVER)
Nov. 21st, here in our home gallery in Danville, VA, 8 – 11 AM (or by appointment). 20% off most items!
Dec. 5th, “From These Hands” Christmas Bazaar at Forest Lawn Baptist, Danville, VA. 9 am – 3 pm, fully handcrafted items from local artisans. Truly gorgeous gifts! Check out the Facebook event page to see what’s in store: Leather crafting, painting, pottery, fine jewelry, my Eclectic Dawn bowls and more!

Lola and PumpkinsAnd so begins the holiday dash of Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s! It always seems like such a blur, with so much to create, to clean, people to visit, and events to attend.
NOTE: If you are considering a commissioned piece for Christmas, my schedule is filling up quickly. I accept NO commissions after December 1st (or it won’t get to you in time). “Now” may seem early to you, but we have a lot of people expecting us to create unique gifts for them, and if you want one done, too, you need to order early enough for us to 1) fit your special gift into the paint schedule, and 2) ship it in time for Christmas. I can’t stress this enough: NOW is the to make your commission request!

Yes, we’ve been busy, but we also take time out to relax, and I hope that you do, too. Take a walk in the woods, hug a tree, call an old friend, or gaze at the stars. Enjoy the full moon Halloween this weekend and the joy of all the youngsters running around playing make-believe! Now go carve those pumpkins! 🙂
JOIN the EDA VIP Club for first dibs on Dawn’s latest artwork, discount codes, wisdom, info, and more!
With much Gratitude Attitude,
Eclectic Dawn

The Bowl Painting Process

The Bowl Painting Process

hammerhead, dragonfly, turtle bowls
Hammerhead, dragonfly, turtle bowls
Monkeypod art
EDA’s latest monkeypod art!

Since we’ve got the camper done, and I came home from our trip with a HUGE pile of monkeypod to paint, it’s been “nose to the grindstone” in the studio! Pics of the latest pieces are sprinkled thru the post. It’s an involved process to complete a single bowl, so I usually work on them in groups, doing each step to a group to save time. Every piece needs to go through all the steps, so even the small bowls take hours to complete. That means a $25 – 35 piece is quite a bargain for the amount of time spent on them. First up: hamsa hand, monstera leaf w/spiders, face palm alien, and a henna design bowl.

I thought you might be interested to learn more about process, and it really shows you that there is SO much more to art than just “painting”. It is the gathering of materials and preparation of those materials that is 90% of the process of creating the art.

  1. Flamingo bowls, stingrays, turtle bowls
    Flamingo, stingray, turtle bowls

    Hunting and purchasing the bowls, which takes gas, time, money, emails, and sometimes shipping fees. I have a couple of people out of the area (one out of state) who hunt for these monkeypod pieces “in the wild” for me (since our area NEVER has them), and when they’ve gathered a dozen or so, then those folks send me a box full at once.

  2. Scraping off price tags and sanding each bowl, degreasing them in case of oiling, scrubbing them with a powdered cleanser.
  3. Coming up with the designs is a curious step: I usually grab a handful of bowls which seem interesting to me and let them sit on my desk for a few days. Eventually, I get a flash of inspiration by turn and rotating a bowl this way and that until I “see” something (or a client asks for a specific idea), and that gets me rolling. I then paint backgrounds on those that need it, and then I start to draw a few guidelines. I do not get very detailed with my drawings, as I tend to let the artwork develop itself as I am painting.
  4. Painting: I only draw basic guidelines as I prefer the painting process to be meditative. As I’m working, I can “see” what else needs to be added, whether it is another color, or a bit of line work, or dots. After airbrushing highly-detailed work on motorcycles, this type of painting is relaxing and freeing! It’s like floating in water to me.

    Glamper Sign
    Glamper Sign w/Vintage Camper
  5. Clean up: before clear coating, I make sure any guidelines are removed, I clean up any funky line work, and sand any “oops” paint off the edges. I then use a tack rag to clean the bowls.
  6. I name and number the bowls, writing the info on the back of each piece.
  7. Clear coat: first I spray the back of the piece, then set it on my “nail board” backside down (board looks like a bed of nails, and allows me to do both sides of the bowls in one spraying session), and then clear the front.
  8. Use fine sandpaper on the piece if it needs it.
  9. Inventory the piece (measuring, noting shape, colors, subject, size, price, name)
  10. Take photos, edit the photos.
  11. Upload photos to my etsy shop, add descriptions, share on social media.
  12. Sell it, ship it, do bookkeeping (inventory, taxes, etc).
  13. Order more materials if needed.
  14. Repeat! I try to have one batch in the paint process and one in the clear coat stage.

The bowls are art (not food safe), but they can be used as trinket trays, jewelry trays, key holders, office supply holders, wall art, a pop of color on an end table…and they make great housewarming gifts, bellydancer gifts, unique wedding gifts (and YES, we can PERSONALIZE them), or a birthday gift for the person who has everything!

monstera, red lotus, snake labyrinth, alien art
monstera, red lotus, snake labyrinth, aliens

JOIN the EDA VIP Club for first dibs on Dawn’s latest artwork, discount codes, wisdom, info, and more!

I hope you enjoyed hearing about the process to create these colorful pieces, and of course, seeing the newest pieces that I’ve added to my etsy shop (link will open in a new window). If there’s anything special YOU’D like to see painted on one of the bowls, leave a comment! We’d love to hear from you!

Eclectic Dawn