erin kate archer is a watercolor illustrator living & knitting in brooklyn, ny. a lover of art and all things handmade & beautiful, she uses a variety of mediums to combine all three. she’s the illustrator of the children’s book Finbar & Fiona and manages an array of illustration prints on etsy. you can keep up with her at www.ekatearcher.com and across the internet @ekatearcher.
a friend & i started a “painting a week” challenge — we pick a word each week & use whatever medium we like to portray it & post the result on sundays ! if you’re following my instagram, this will be old news but here are the past few weeks work:
i’m starting a new design . . . a lace overlay hat. i’m really excited about how its turning out so far. i used really soft chunky wool for the base of the hat & the lace is a super-fine (& also soft) alpaca.
i’ve also polished up my blog design! i made this new header & this wip video. i started with a bunch of watercolor circles & then added the text & knit stitch border in illustrator. adding in these social media buttons that i made from gold foil photos really seemed to tie it together
along the same lines, i did some exciting work freelancing recently. i created this logo for She Enlightened, a new feminist-spiritual site with meditations, affirmations, and a mission of gender equality. we worked together to create this logo, a combination of a lotus flower (a classic feminine symbol) with the “aries” symbol (often connected with the womb & feminism). i’m really proud of how it came out, especially when i see these sketches from where we started out !
(if you’re interested in hearing more about she enlightened you can check out their twitter as well !)
a simple tutorial on how i make my illustrations !
i use watercolor paper, micron pens (waterproof is important), a mechanical pencil, and an eraser. you can start with a reference picture & make a sketch from it or just a concept. i decided to go with bunny love in honor of valentines. i use a mechanical pencil for the beginning sketch for light & erasable lines.
after you have the sketch down, use the smallest pen possible (my smallest is the .01) to retrace your sketch.
erase the pencil marks . . .
& use larger pens to vary line thickness. a nice way to do this is to keep the outside edges darker & thicker while letting the details remain light.
next up, color ! i use this watercolor palette. starting from the shadows and blending out to leave the highlights the color of the paper. there are many tutorials online for learning how to shade but you can also rely on your reference photo or keep the colors flat.
add your final details (i.e. hearts, eyelashes, blades of grass !) & if you feel so inclined, use a white pen to highlight & really make the drawing pop !
if drawing & painting isn’t really your thing but you’d like to give someone some bunny love too, feel free to print & gift this one :
in the midst of this very cold winter i’ve cast on a pair of thrummed mittens! i’ve never worked with thrums before but i really love how fluffy & warm they’re turning out. i’m more or less using this pattern from the yarn harlot
. . . also on the needles, a soon-to-be cowl — ultra warm. i’m using size 50 (US) needles & raw, unspun roving. this is so quick to knit & the fabric it produces is amazing.
& something a little different. . . a mock travel poster that i created in illustrator for class. always on the lookout for city lights !!
I’ve been working on & off on this three panel (6 foot wide!) seascape in oils. It’s slow going with the drying time but I’ve been enjoying it. It’s really different from the watercolors I’m used to working with.
. . . wip video. If you’re interested in more posts like these you should follow my instagram account, @ekatearcher. . . on the needles I have already casted off this red basketweave hat & have been working on this pink beanie (christmas knitting season !). I tried out the tubular cast on & absolutely love the finished edge it gives !
I’m still working on this knit-in-pieces, light blue, silk & angora cardigan. I spent a large majority of this summer knitting it on nyc rooftops, hence the name. above : bryant park movie festival . . catching the last few bits of summer in a little pencil exercise & preparing for a (very very big) project in oils !!