Monday, September 11, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Day 1: Today I will post the sketch. I did it in one day, just one piece of paper...but, I had already drawn it, this was a revise. Throughout this book I have redrawn every blessed page as I go since most of the book was initially drawn nearly a year and a half ago.
So, the book is about animals. One for every letter of the alphabet. If it's been a while since you counted the alphabet, that's twenty six animals.
Forgive bad patch jobs on the scan. This piece is 13 x 22 Strathmore 500 series heavyweight illustration board, vellum surface. I use Winsor & Newton watercolors. All this was laid in in about 6 hours (four if you subtract the time I spent on the internet) with a size 10 synthetic watercolor brush. I am not a tidy watercolorist. I splash it on kind of big then I scrub the heck out of it to move it where I want. I transfer minimal line to the board, then use my sketch and any photo reference to draw as I paint. This is just blocking in as much of the board as I can before I go back in and noodle on it. And noodle I will.
Today I had about six hours of focused time to work on this (meaning I stayed off the interent). I push the paint around a lot, scrub it out, blot it, lay in glazes and dry brush. I am so familiar with the medium now I hardly think about it - I know which brush is soft enough to lay a glaze down and not disturb what's underneath. I know which pigments stain, which sit on the surface. I know how sticky the paint needs to be for one effect, how loose it needs to be for another, how long to give it to dry, or not. I dread changing medium even though I am ready, because it will take me years to have this kind of facility with another technique.
For this side of the page I organized the carnivores together, the tree dwellers, the flipperish creatures, and the black and white fellows. The other side is all the horned beasts, and a few aquatic guys.
I decided to do a before and after side by side comparison of the portion of the painting I worked on today. I put in about 10 hours today - and it's Saturday. Still fun but looks like I won't get in done by tomorrow night as planned.
Getting close now but I am going to have to put it away for a while. Other deadlines await! I will get it out and noodle on it a little every day. Hopefully by the end of the week I will be able to strip the board and get a decent scan. Farewell!
You know you've watched too much HGTV if you know what "a reveal" is. Here is the reveal of the grand finale of ABC Safari. I could keep on picking at it for another hundred years and the changes would be indescernable to the naked eye. I think I have tortured this poor piece of board long enough, there is no fresh painting left on it so - it's done!
"Our trip is now over, we've safely returned. The sights we've discovered! The things we have learned. We've run out of letters, my thrill seeking friend. There's nothing to say now except for - The End"