From Watercolor to Illustrated Poem [Photos]

Last week I posted that I had painted a watercolor and planned to use it as the background for a poem I wrote about hope. Today, I’ve got more pictures to share with you and some tips on how I took this across the finished line. If you click on the photos, you’ll get the full-sized image this time around. Huzzah!

One Starry Sky by Monica Valentinelli

Okay, so now that I have my background it was time to plot the lettering. I really like the chalkboard-style fonts, and opted to use a similar technique. First thing I did was plot the grid, then use freehand to draw each line separately. I had Pinterest open on my phone, and used some fonts for reference.

You can see that I made some minor adjustments after the fact–I’ll get to that in a little bit. I illustrated these at the coffee shop. Here’s the rest of the originals, which I illustrated at home.

And lastly, the banner here:

Next, I scanned in each line separately, erased the backgrounds, and did some minor clean-up before turning them into *.pngs. After that, I placed them in layers on my watercolor background. The lines were scanned larger than the canvas, which allowed me to have more flexibility with placement.

Annnnnnnd… Viola! Here is the finished version of my illustrated poem. Sadly, I usually don’t title my poems, but I named the picture “One Starry Night.” So, um… One starry night it is!

One Starry Sky by Monica Valentinelli

And the Changeth of Seasons-eth

Jack The Pumpkin King Avatar

First, before I say ANYTHING else… Some GOOD news! So far, you’ve helped raise over $2,000 to fight hunger through‘s Read and Feed charity drive. Thanks for downloading the bundle! If you haven’t, you have until the 20th. I’d *really* like to see this hit $5,000!

So how have things been going? It’s been a roller coaster these past few weeks, but thankfully everything’s beginning to normalize. I *really* don’t like to take my bad mood out on other people, but I’m grateful for the time spent with friends who understand that while I’m a strong-willed person, even I have awful days. But those are behind me, come hell or high water, I’ll make it so — it’s all about the ‘tude for me. Sometimes, I just need to hang upside down to catch a different perspective. Six impossible things before breakfast. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I’m happy that the government is back to it’s normal day-to-day operations; I have a lot of friends that were dramatically affected by the shutdown. I understand it’s a politically charged topic, like many issues are these days, but it is what it is: people I care about were directly affected by this. Some worked as contractors or in other public agencies associated with different branches of the government (e.g. outside of the 800,000 figure). Others had to go back into work with no guarantee they’d get paid for that time. Hopefully, things will go back to normal for them very, very soon.

I’ve dealt with ideological purity before and the destruction those beliefs can leave in its wake. I was reminded of this last night when I was looking at some of my b-b-b-b-b-b-b-bad poetry. Wrote this oh, a while ago, but it’s fairly apropos to how I’m feeling right now about all of this political mess:


    spinning in a square pattern
    his spoken word one sad vibration
    of logic and the one way
    of naught perception, nay
    so Truth spins wayward from his line
    Statistics take their place up high
    emotions fall the Great fall
    failing his so smart conclusions

    they die the silent death
    of wind and water and angel’s breath
    till no more Truth exists within him
    a pile of data, just one more number
    un-separated from a mass
    who can not distinguish “eye”
    from “i”.

Told you it wasn’t *good* poetry. Heh, heh. But, if I’m looking on the bright side… I’m happy Fall is officially here. Seems like just yesterday it was 70s and sunny — and now it’s 50s and cool. I am totally and completely in love this weather!

Now, back to my to-do list. Oh, is it ever a beaut.

    Mood: Sunny side up
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Decent consumption
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Pesky Chores
    In My Ears: Water filter (new fish take)
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age II
    Book Last Read: Research materials for work
    Movie Last Viewed: Alice in Wonderland
    Latest Artistic Project: *Still* *still* *still* need to take pictures… It’s on the list!
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing
    Latest Game Release: Serenity Crew, Wedding Planners Cortex Plus, and Shooting Fish
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work and novels.

Don’t be Afraid to Write like Crap

One morning, Little Miss Writer wakes up like she normally does. She gets out of bed, stretches her fingers, and gulps down a cup of coffee. After she’s had the chance to wake up, she sits down at her computer, and starts typing away on her assignment. All of a sudden, tiny microbes of self-doubt enter her bloodstream, carrying with them a slew of racing thoughts that range from “My career is over” to “I suck as a writer.” The strange part is, she can’t pinpoint anything different that happened that day, but she believes that something did.

When self-doubt enters a writer’s mind, we start to make assumptions about our market based on what we “think” will sell, stunting our creativity at times to fit a square peg into a round hole instead of branching out into uncharted territory. Truly, the only way to learn from your mistakes is to first make them, but if you’re afraid of making them then your writing suffers.

Personally, I suck at poetry. In fact, I would classify myself to be a rather crappy poet. I often write poetry, though, not to publish it but to experiment with the words and play around with how they sound. Here’s an example:
Read More…

Monica Valentinelli > bad poetry

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