Paper Goodness

The Invitation Suite (Courtney Khail Watercolors for Weddings Unveiled Spring Inspiration Shoot)

The Invitation Suite (Courtney Khail Watercolors for Weddings Unveiled Spring Inspiration Shoot)

courtney khail watercolors | custom fine art watercolor wedding invitations | Atlanta, Georgia | rustic yellow wedding

Custom Fine Art Watercolor Wedding Invitation Suite by Courtney Khail | photo by ellegolden

I absolutely love when I'm given free reign with designing. Which aside from sending over inspiration boards to give me an idea for the overall look and colors, is pretty much exactly what Raquel did. She trusted my expertise and ability and just let me create- and in the end she got amazing pieces. (I stress this point to anyone looking to work with an artist- whether it's for commissioned art for custom wedding invitations or for your home. Choose someone whose work and style you love, give them enough information- favorite colors, overall mood, etc- so they know what you want, and then trust them to provide that. By giving people the freedom to really create, more often than not you will be rewarded with exceptional art far exceeding anything you could have imagined!)

courtney khail watercolors | custom fine art watercolor wedding invitations | Atlanta, Georgia | rustic yellow wedding color palette

The color palette board I made to show the original inspiration (photo by Elle Golden)

But back to this suite. Raquel wanted a natural palette- lots of greens, blues, and whites- that evoked spring. After seeing her inspiration, I immediately envisioned a garden after a spring rain (Wow. Feels like I'm writing copy for the J. Peterman catalog with that one.) Subdued, yet still vibrant colors, with enough contrast for interest, but not so much that anything is jarring. Have you ever looked into a clear, blue lake? How close to the surface the water is barely blue at all- more crystal clear- but as your eyes look deeper, the water gradually darkens until it's almost navy or midnight? (If not, I suggest you go explore the outdoors more because the world is beautiful and you'll get to see things like what I just described.) I wanted my pieces to appear delicate, but strong enough to stand on their own, with subtle color variations like those that occur in nature.

courtney khail watercolors | custom fine art watercolor wedding invitations | Atlanta, Georgia | rustic yellow wedding

Invitation by Courtney Khail Watercolors (photo by Elle Golden)

Like all of my work, I incorporated handwritten elements as well. With this particular one though, I kept the lines very thin. (The style was inspired by the handwritten notes my grandmothers used to send. Cursive, airy, and always consistent in the width- probably because they were written with a ball point pen. There was always something so feminine about their handwriting and I want to capture that in this suite.)

The design itself was directly inspired by spring time in the South. I'm originally from Augusta, Georgia and for Augustans the beginning of spring is marked by one thing- The Masters golf tournament. Always the first full week of April, the city is full of bright azalea blooms, dogwood blooms so bright they appear to be glowing, and tons of green- in everything from manicured lawns to the famed green jacket. I dialed back on the colors some, but still strived to capture the overall feeling of spring's "fresh start" with the artwork itself.

courtney khail watercolors | custom fine art watercolor wedding invitations | Atlanta, Georgia | rustic yellow wedding

Watercolor RSVP by Courtney Khail Watercolors (Photo by Elle Golden)

And there you have it- the back story and inspiration of the invitation suite. Does it remind you of spring as well?

Studio Sneak Peek: guest gifts

via courtney khail stationery and design

Amy and Craig wanted to give their guests a gift that was really personal and meaningful- something that would remind them of the wedding, but wouldn't just be tossed away like a cheap plastic frame with their wedding date imprinted on it. Because they were having a smaller wedding, I suggested a painting for each couple/guest. Using the same garden rose design I painted on their invitations, I created a 12 piece collection of paintings- each titled, dated, and signed with the edition number- for Amy and Craig to frame and give to their guests. Apparently, it was hit!

(Side note here, if you're looking to give small favors that you can buy in larger quantities, I always advise something edible or useful. No one turns down chocolate or matches, but most everyone will leave behind the one wine glass etched with your new monogram. That is, unless it's their monogram too, in which you'll see those people collecting a set of 6 from the ones everyone else left behind.)

Studio Sneak Peek: blackberries and wildflowers

"Blackberries & Wildflowers" via courtney khail stationery and design (feel free to share but please credit my work and link back to my site.)

This is the last week of my new designs- I hope you've enjoyed getting to see them and learn a little more about how they came about!

While I love all of the new designs (like love love), there is something special about this one. Maybe it's because it's hand written, or maybe because it's so unique and colorful. Either way, I'm very pleased with it. Called "Blackberries & Wildflowers" it's the only design that incorporates fruit into the illustration. I have fond childhood memories of picking strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, so when I started thinking of an entirely wildflower based, summery design, I knew I wanted to incorporate berries somehow. Their rich colors, their lip staining juices, their sweetness, their smells- they perfectly represent summer to me. I also wanted a the bouquet of flowers to seem like you just collected whatever looked pretty to you as you walked through a field.Similar to the bouquets you'd pick for your mom when you were out playing. (I'm not the only one who did that right?) One of each flower- maybe two, but a very loose and colorful assortment. After researching and drawing out tons of wildflowers, I put those sketches away and drew this one entirely from memory. I didn't want anything to look too specific because I wanted my illustration to remind everyone of some flower they've seen growing on the side of a road. (Looking back though, I can tell I was greatly influenced by the Cherokee rose, wild plum blossoms, lilacs, and wild violets- just in case anyone was curious.) Grouping them so closely allowed me to create a "thicket" of sorts- almost an imaginary berry bush of my own. Because it feels very homey to me (and not in a rustic, weathered way because I think this could be just as beautiful if done formally too- but in more of a comfortable, embracing kind of way) I decided the sample invitation should be hand penned. That way, when you received the invitation it would be just as though you were opening a letter from a good friend.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do and thank you again for letting me share my new designs with you! I hope you had as much fun as I did. In case you happened to miss any, here is the complete list:

Modern Daisy

Wild Peony

Lilac & Rose

Sweet peas & Peonies

Blackberries and Wildflowers

Studio Sneak Peek: Sweet peas and Peonies

"Sweet peas & Peonies" via courtney khail stationery and design (feel free to share, but please give me credit and link back to my site.)

This is week four of my new design intros and this week the featured design is "Sweet peas & Peonies."

Okay so technically it's a ranunculus crossed with a peony, but one of the best things about being an artist is creative license and "sweetpeas & ranunculus" just doesn't roll off the tongue as well. Either way, I wanted a really dominant and sturdy center flower that would be framed and layered with more delicate blooms. After approximately 10-15 different takes, this is the one I finally decided upon. I love how the little blooms peak around the bigger "peony" and how one single stem branches out behind it creating both depth and height. Because it has a slight wave like feeling, I wanted to juxtapose that with an angular, graphic layout for the wording. By using different sans serif fonts and tweaking the spacing, I was able to create a save the date where both the information and the painting stood out without either part over shadowing the other.