Saturday, March 31, 2007

"Sweet Ride Shores" Kahala Sportswear men's aloha shirts & women's pants

It was decided that I would design a print with hula girls wearing sombreros.I included cactus flowers,guitars,parrots,coconut palm trees,surf boards with Aztec symbols and serapes that have every color repeated in their stripes.

The color palette: light,medium & dark blues,white,yellow,gold,red,light , medium olive greens,medium and darker warm browns.

The guitars would have to be the element in this print that I enjoyed painting the most. I love guitar music and the curving shapes are relaxing to paint.

The name "Sweet Ride Shores" came from an article in a 1960s National Geographic magazine about a beach in California where surfers caught sweet rides to shore.Since California is so close to Mexico,it seemed to be a likely name for this conversational print.

I hope that the rides are still as sweet for California surfers!


Thursday, March 29, 2007

"Swingn' Palms" Aloha Shirt print on 100% cotton knit

The design elements in this print are typical: coconut palm trees,
ocean,flowers and hula girls. What was different about this print is that the hula girls were on the golf course ,one of them holding the flag. Her top is in a coral and white colored pareo print. The flowers in her hair and on her wrist are white,as are the clouds.

The golfer, not shown here, is wearing an aloha shirt in same print as the hula dancer's top. He is also wearing white slacks and saddle oxfords with a lauhala hat on his head.I love his face too!

One of my favorite design techniques is to use a tonal layer beneath the central motif.It is such a thrill to paint around motif or to paint a motif on top of a tonal ground(depending on the colors used).Example shown here is the hula girl holding the flag as she stands in front of large yellow plumeria flowers and leaves on a lighter yellow ground color.Such a beautiful way to add color and design and a technique that has been used since ancient times and now can be
generated in a computer program .It's just a fantastic way to bring color and design into this world.

This print did very well in woven cotton for Kahala Sportswear's mens aloha shirts and was made into cotton polo knit shirts in another season.

I saw this shirt being worn in a size XXXL man sitting in a chair. The design was stretched across his broad back,taking the art to a whole new level. It was really a pleasure to see!

Good Evening from Kailua, Oahu,


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Kahala Sportswear aloha shirt

Chambray blues,warm browns and cream were main colors printed onto smooth rayon for this aloha shirt.Touches of red, yellow and green accented surfers and woody cars throughout design.

Denim jeans and khaki pants were the visual in mind as I designed and hand painted this really fun print.

The Monstera deliciosa leaves ,painted in browns, are a favorite houseplant and tropical yard vine,producing a beautiful cream colored flower and fruit. The fruit's flavor reminds me of bananas and pineapples together. These leaves,actually green, could be growing outside the beach shack that the surfers go to at day's end,maybe giving a cat shelter from the noon day sun .

I wanted the background design to flow into the scenes of each block ; the water that this surfer is on merges into the small tapa/floral print. I loved designing and painting this masculine print that was intended to pay tribute to watermen of Earth's Oceans.

I can hear the waves from Kailua Bay this morning as well as birds singing. The sky is overcast and there is a nice cool breeze moving through this studio where I am painting all day.

Aloha !
Emma Howard

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pataloha 100% organic cotton A L O H A shirt with rock climber ,surfers and fishermen

Dale Hope had a 3" thick stack of references to use for this print on organic cream colored cotton with blues in sky and ocean. The rock mountains are in light to dark tans.

There is a tiny rock climber wearing a red shirt,light blue shorts and light blue shoes.His pack is cream colored.

My niece, Helena Al-Kubaisi, gave me information on the gear that she and her husband,William, used when they climbed rocks. I looked at countless other photographs of rock climbers in Dale's reference book,online images, magazine photographs and library books.This climber became the man in my life!

The outrigger canoe tucked behind the mountain is an authentic island canoe with a South East Asian spear fisherman.In an old book we found this black and white photograph of rustic canoe and Islander leaning out over water with his right arm raised,ready to spear a fish.

The outrigger canoe just off a tiny coconut palm island is in calm waters with the fisherman seated,holding a tan colored fishing pole.His pants and outrigger are red.

The surfer closest to mountain is wearing red pareo shorts.

We added accents of red to coconut palm tree trunks,outrigger on canoe,surf board of 2nd surfer and rock climber's shirt.

There is one wave in this design that is drawn from the ocean looking towards the land.Drawing it from a photograph of wave from behind created a slight sense of sea sickness for me!

Last year I was in Manoa Valley ,Honolulu,at a shopping center, just having walked out of the soy shop ,when I spotted a man wearing this very shirt. I shared my design process with him .
He graciously told me that he enjoyed wearing this shirt. I walked to my car ,holding my frozen chocolate soy dessert, and knew that it had been a good day.

Aloha from Kailua,

Emma Howard