Unusual title, yes? It wasn't called that originally, of course, but simply WIP: Perseus and Andromeda; until too many viewers simply favourite without reading the description or seeing the finished piece.
*The final illustration is here:[link] * _______________
A rough for a sample illustration for Templar Publishing of the Perseus and andromeda myth.
Bellerophon, of course, was the original captor and rider of Pegasus. Thanks to the Renaissance, however, we now have versions in which Perseus, the slayer of Medusa the gorgon, is given the winged horse to aid his rescue of Andromeda.
This is a wonderful pencil. It IS the pencil, correct? I was wondering about your process from pencil to watercolor final. Do you ink over the original, or transfer to the WC paper? How often do you mask before laying down washes? I know it's a lot of queries, but I'm astounded by the distinction you retain among areas in your paintings.
You never worry about erasure or pencil grooves messing with the application of WC later on? That's what gets me. That and suddenly being without a value reference. Might I ask how you track values and lighting? Just from your head, or do you keep a sketch/photos handy?
Oh, my, you must press very hard with your pencil. I have a very light hand, so fortunately don't have those issues. And a putty eraser is wonderful for lessening the harm done to the watercolour paper. Also, I meant that having drawn the rough, I then draw the whole thing afresh (rather than transfering or tracing) on watercolour paper, and make any changes then. So I of course have the rough as a guide. With values and lighting, it can be all three, depending on what I have to hand; though mostly, it is from my head, based on a kind of 'informed guesswork' and memory (which are by no means always reliable ).
I should point out that this piece and the resulting final are from a little while ago, and my working methods have changed a little since. With finished colour pieces, I no longer ink in the pencil first, but after all the watercolour work, I do the linework with gouache and a very fine brush. This was an early example in which I put this into concerted practice: [link] I also rarely make detailed sketches now. Because I'm very slow and my methods are time-consuming; making detailed, more or less complete sketches cost me a considerable deal; not least the frustrations of never quite being able to replicate my rough exactly on the final piece. These days, I make the roughest of thumbnails and draw straight on the watercolour paper.
I'm training myself out of it, actually. I start really light and then by the time I'm roughing out more detailed areas, I seem to get tight and heavy. It's bothersome. Thank gods for the putty erasers. I'm glad as well that you don't set the whole thing to memory without a rough reference. I'd think you were making deals of the nefarious kind to attain that skill.
Is there newer of the gouache and brush "inking" in your gallery? That piece I think being early, lacks the sophistication and confidence of your inking hand with a pen. Your work strikes me as the closest homage to Rackham I think I've ever seen in a modern watercolorist, and personally I'm happy you take the extreme time to do that level of work. The world needs this. : )
Now that I make but the roughest of thumbnails before beginning half blind on a finished piece, perhaps I have made some nefarious deals at some point without being aware of it after all.
Funnily enough, I'm actually very fond of that piece for having much softer lines; though perhaps as it was done relatively quickly, it probably isn't as refined as one might wish. That's one aspect of why I enjoy this 'new' method so much more: I don't necessarily have the 'tyranny' of the ink boundaries and can allow the paint to work so much more on their own terms, whilst still having the choice of where I wish to best emphasize the linework, and yet keep it understated and with a measure of delicacy. I think they work together and show their individual strengths better this way. There aren't any other examples of this here yet, as I've only just finished my most important project so far (which is why I'm able to reply to you at all - I have been silent here for many months and have simply been posting work at intervals and fleeing ), and it isn't yet published. However, here is a peek at one illustration (hoping I don't get into trouble; I've temporarily made this picture public, but will have to set it back to private soon): [link]
Thank you for your kind words about the homage; I do feel that it isn't just to Rackham to whom I pay tribute, but pretty much as many of the Golden Age greats as one cares to name; though it is true that he and Dulac are two of the strongest influences.
Should be a fun ride, if you're contractually obligated unbeknownst to yourself. It's like agreeing to one of those EULA bits on every corporate web page membership. Ya never know WHAT it says or means, but we all click the little check box.
That's a good point, about more control of the final emphasis with the brushwork more than a rigid ink line. I can't wait to see more. That rider/dragon is a wonderful evolution from the older things. St. George? The knight looks vaguely norse-medieval to me.
Thanks for all the in depth description of your work, by the by.
Haha, it's Rustam; of Persian legend. I hope he doesn't look Norse-medieval.
In many ways, I can't believe I hadn't employed the brush this way much sooner. Using the brush to draw with itself was something I already did, but not often enough. I seem to have mostly reserved it for Gongbi style Chinese painting. But that was still using ink to delineate with first, followed by layers of ink tone, then the colours (this is an example of this [link] . Not strictly a gongbi painting in the truest sense, as I used a western watercolour paper and not sized xuan paper, but the painting methods were the same). But drawing with ink on watercolour gave unpleasant results (for me), so perhaps that stumped me for a while. I suppose it's one of those sublimely simple things which somehow just takes its time to occur to you. But you do feel a bit like you haven't seen the wood for the trees when that happens.
Thank you for your interest! I think I've been wanting to share this stage of evolution and you've asked at the right time.
Oh, and I think I've known all along what that unhappy contract was, really. It happened with my birth.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More