Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Foxy Disguise

What do you think? This is a totally different look from my previous paintings. I made myself slow down and paint every stroke with purpose. I also forced myself to build color and contrast and pay better attention to light. I am really happy with it! And excited to see what comes next.

Tom will definitely elude the coyotes with this disguise.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Experimenting with Process

It is time to share a process post, because I am experimenting with it!
I have a couple illustrations that I absolutely love, "An Outing for Foxes" and "Shoe Sailing Mice." The reason I like them so much is because they have a sense of movement expressed by the lines of the ink pen. I have let my lines become the defining force of my illustrations, which works with movement, but the more stationary pieces feel like they are lacking. So, the last couple weeks I have felt the ache of growing pains, knowing that I need to grow, but not knowing how. I expressed all of this to my artist friend Sara and she gave me some great advice: She asked me which part I enjoyed doing the most and to focus on that: line drawing with pen, detail drawing with colored pencil, or painting with watercolor. I found that my favorite part was colored pencil, even though I always started with pen and rushed through the detail drawing.
With this new piece I forced myself to slow down and do all the detail drawing first with colored pencil, then I gently outlined with a thin ink pen.

This is our cat "Tom." We are always trying to think up ways to protect our farm cats from wild animals. We thought making him a fox costume might confuse the coyotes :)

It always feels weird completing a drawing and then putting it in water! This is how you size the paper and prepare it to receive watercolor.

After quickly patting off the excess water I tape it down to a masonite board while it is still damp to prevent warping.

At this point I am realizing that the colored pencil detail creates competition for the watercolor. I started using the watercolor paint more like a colored pencil. Not sure if that is the look I will be going for in the future, but for now I like it. Tom needs several more glazes of color, shadows and depth. My scanner has started picking up a lot of yellow, so imagine it with a lot less...... I will let you know how he turns out!