Happy Thanksgiving!

The end of November is a good time to reflect and start thinking about the year ahead - I can't believe we are almost to 2014.  It seems like not so long ago, I was just getting used to writing 2013!  But that's the way time goes, slow and then all at once.

As an extra special thank you, use the code GRATEFUL13 for 20% off all orders over $8.00 USD in my etsy shop until December 7, 2013.

Speaking of change, I've been growing.  My shop will now have a new sale section and I'm making my editing tools available to the public.  Starting on November 29, 2013, my own collection of Lightroom Presets and Artistic Textures for editing photos will be on sale.

I'm still giving away a set textures and presets to a lucky winner on my blog.  Go here to enter.

Happy Thanksgiving (or just Thursday if you aren't American)!


Image credit: J. Beck

This weekend was really productive for me (despite having access to the Elder Scrolls Online Beta), and I've gotten a good amount of work done on my Lightroom Presets and textures.  So much so that I want to do a giveaway for my readers.

So here's the deal, leave me a comment on this post and you'll be entered.  Tweeting, following this blog and my etsy shop are all good for extra entries, just leave me another comment and tell me you've done it.  If you tweet, use the tag #raindroptools so I can see it.

That's it!  You'll win 34 Lightroom Presets that I designed and have been showing off all last week on this blog and a set of new textures that I've been working on.  The fine print is that you can't resell my textures or presets, use them to make your own and sell them or claim them as yours.  You CAN (and should) use them to alter photos you want to sell (of course) and/or use them for personal photos/creative edits/scrapbooking etc.

Leave your comments here!  Your tweets, following, etc won't count unless you leave me another comment telling me you've done it.


Waterfall WIP

I'm excited to share another photo with you all, this one a snapshot from a quick trip to a herring run.  The little waterfall isn't natural, but no less pretty for it.  When you live in a not very mountainous place like I do, waterfalls of any sort seem like treasures.

This picture is a work in progress still, but I am very proud of this black and white.  It's another of my new Lightroom Presets called "Radio".

I'm super excited to unveil the whole set next week.  Today I'm off to work on some writing and paint some textures as well as cleaning up around the house.  I've got a whole weekend full of Elder Scrolls Online planned, and I don't want to sit in a messy house!

Have a good weekend!

New Presets Coming Soon

I've been working on a new collection of Lightroom Presets that I'm going to put up for sale.  But first,  here's a preview of one of my favorite presets.

This adjustment is called "Crimson Calling".  I made it to bring out the reds and purple tones in a photo, to deepen and darken them so a true red becomes a more crimson shade.  It's a dramatic effect, but I'm really loving the way it works on photos.

Here's a preview.

Isn't it lovely?!

In addition to my presets, I'm also working on a new texture pack.  Both will be available for sale next week.

Fall Leaves and Underpainting

Here's another new fabric I designed on Spoonflower, appropriately titled "Fall Leaves".  I confess I meant to enter this piece in the weekly challenge for the leaves design, but I didn't finish it until after the deadline.  Oh well, at least it can still be enjoyed.  This is a little different from most of my other designs, because this was entirely done in color pencil and I like the way it came out.

Fall colors can be such a wonderful thing to capture on film, but harder to render the nuances of them while drawing.  I think of all paint, oils really make a beautiful fall scene because of the vibrancy of their colors.  But the disadvantage to using oil paint is that it takes a while to dry, so I decided to use color pencil to get more immediate results of my color mixing.

One thing I did try with this fabric that I haven't really done before was underpainting.  Empty Easel has a great color pencil underpainting article here, and I utilized the most basic concepts in making this design.  Since I only had the three leaves and not a full landscape, I just did the basic shape and filled in the leaves with the complimentary color first, then went back over it with my chosen colors.  I think it added nice depth to the drawing itself, but I'm not sure how it will come out in printing.

I've got a few more seasonal and decorative designs to put on Spoonflower this week, and then I will order some swatches.  Hopefully they will get here in time for all the approved fabrics to go on sale in December.

Slush Pile: A view of the hill

Beacon Hill shot from Boston Common.


This is my latest Spoonflower fabric, I print I call "Victory" in the petunia colorway.  This took me a lot of time to draw by hand, and even more to color in photoshop - but I love the way it came out.  There's a version that's black and white and grey too, but I think these colors look phenomenal.  I haven't had a chance to have it printed yet, so I don't know what it looks like in person and unfortunately, that means it isn't available for sale yet.

I'm drawing a lot of inspiration from the shows I've been watching, and it's interesting to see it transfer to my work.  I don't watch a lot of television, so keeping up with a current series, even if I am four or five episodes behind is a novel change in my routine.

It was either last week or the week before, I drew and inked two more designs that I just put into photoshop to work on.  It's been a busy time, but it's great to see lots of work getting done!


Jam Nebula

Here's an old painting I recently reworked and put up on Society6 for sale.  It's not a true depiction of an actual photographed region of space, but rather something fanciful.  I like the colors, the deep blues and purples and how cool the overall tone of this nebula is altogether.  This is one of the few times I've painted space with someone in mind, but I was inspired by my husband's love of space and particularly space-centric types of movies and games.

We're at the point in fall where I start to do more painting and still life than outdoor photography.  I rather like the shift - it gives me a chance to rest my gear and hiking boots, and organize my messy office into something livable.  I've got my pastels and watercolors out, and hopefully something new will come soon.


My Favorite Joke

I have told you all my favorite joke?  Well, this was my favorite joke when I was much younger, so it's pretty tame.

First the set up - you get the person to ask you what you do for a living and then what the hardest part of it is.

"What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a stand up comedian."

"What's the hard-"


Okay, so that joke was pretty good when I was in the fifth grade, but I doubt it will bring down the house now.  Still, I think about the principle of it a lot.  Timing is hard - and it's especially important in my chosen profession of photography.  There are so many times when I've lamented shutter rebound or that I didn't already have my camera out.

But the payoff is the other side of the street.  I get great images and not all of them come from careful set up and prep.  Sometimes it's just the someone is smiling sweetly without noticing the grin spreading across their face, or the wind calms down just enough to make the branches stop swaying for a moment, or a particularly good patch of light shines right down on my subject.

On my last vacation, I woke up my husband after I'd been out for an hour shooting away, because I didn't want him to miss all of that magnificent mist rising off of Lake George after heavy rains the day before.  He was a little grumpy with me at first, but we were standing over the railing looking at the dissipating tendrils of fog over the lake and he looked over at me and said "I'm glad you woke me up."

I love what I do, and timing is everything.



This piece is called Snowflower, and it is one of my newest prints.  It's a very special piece, because of the artist and serene beauty that it conveys.  I consider it one of my favorite photos that I've taken this year.

Rains on the Plain in conjunction with Black Diamond Celebrity Gifting are gifting this wonderful photo to Tyra Banks for her birthday this year.  I am so excited to be a part of this!!!!

Black Diamond Celebrity Gifting Division is a full-scale Public Relations Firm that focuses on bringing exposure to the creative talents and unique products manufactured by Small Business Owners. Many small businesses are evaluated by Black Diamond and inclusion is based on a selection process that leverages the uniqueness, marketability, and professionalism of a small business and its product line, and determined by current trends.

Thank you BDCG for this opportunity!


One of the issues between my stores that I've started addressing is the offerings.  My S6 store and etsy don't offer the same photos and I wanted to explain why.

I started my S6 store and quickly added work to it.  If you aren't familiar with Society6 at all, then here's what you need to know.  When you go to my link, you see all of my offerings.  When you search from the front page, you only see what has been put into the Society6 store.  Upon uploading a piece for sale, other members can place hearts on my work and promote it.  If it is promoted enough, it is let into the Society6 store.

That makes it difficult for me, because I can't predict if a piece is going to get a good response or not.  There's much more in my store than can be found from the links on the homepage.  When I started, it was a good option for me because I had no way of printing or storing stock in my home.

Etsy, on the other hand, is completely managed by me.  Every piece is available for sale and you see my whole store upon entering.  It came a few months after my S6 store, and has primarily photography.  This is because I'm most confident with my photo printing service and don't want to print illustration work until I am sure it will be done correctly.

At any rate, my etsy shop stocks some prints that may have been deleted from S6.  I wanted to make etsy a haven for my photographic work, and with the treasury system, you never know whom it might inspire.  The tagging works completely different on etsy, and it gives every piece a fair shot at being seen, even if you never visit my store directly.

Even so, there are a few photos available on S6 still that never made it to etsy.  The most likely cause for this is my own fault - switching computers.  I got a faster computer with a 2TB storage drive, and I moved most of my artwork over.   Most of it.  Society6 has one upload and I'm done, their printers handle the rest of the printing and resizing.  I like to print from a full sized file and do my own resizing (especially for large format photos), so I have to dig through the archives and find a few of the photos that I missed when I switched over.

All that means is there are a few "new" old images coming to my etsy shop that have been in my S6 shop for a while.  The above "The Devil's Isle's", is one of them.  The Devil's Isle's is an old name for Bermuda, where this dreamy scene was shot.  It's long been available on S6 and I am happy to finally be getting it on etsy.


Society6 has been expanding its offerings as of late, and I wanted to share with you the new mugs.  This mug is mine, from my painting of the Orion nebula called Orion Snapshot.  I haven't bought a mug yet, so I am not sure how it looks in person, but it looks great in the preview.

I'm trying to get back in the space art groove here, after focusing (no pun intended) on photography for so long.  Hopefully I will get a lot done this weekend and have new items on both Etsy and Society6.  For you fabric fans, I've done a new print called Victory in two different colorways over on Spoonflower.

Society6 must be getting in gear for the holidays this year - and I need to catch up!   In addition to mugs there's new tote bags and all of the older offerings - pillows, laptop skins, phone cases, etc.  Have a look!