Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Process Report - 

Yesterday I finished the revision to the last assignment of my illustration class.
The revision was self imposed. I didn't like the digital collage version that I made so I decided to redo the art.

Here's the process I went through.

The original rough...
As I remember them the comments during the critique were as follows...
She looks very uncomfortable, both in body position and by having her straddle that very big branch.
There's too much going on with the multiple nests, squirell, the mouse, and the bug.

I agreed with the comments so I searched the "net" for some images of kids sitting in trees, as well as, robins, and fall clothes.
Then I reworked the rough and came up with this...

The girls clothes stayed the same.
Her posture was improved and I changed the tree to have a curving horizontal trunk that I found on the "net."
I added another horizontal trunk so she would have a place to rest her foot.
I added another robin and positioned him so that the beaks of both birds pointed to her hand offering up the piece of sandwich. This helped improve the focal point of the image.
I removed one nest from the bottom of the image, the squirell, mouse, and bugs.
The mouse will be appearing in another illustration along with several more.

I took this rough and decided that I would do an inked version.
One of my areas to focus on this year is black and white line art.
I believe I need more for my portfolio. And I like doing it.
So, this is the first inked image. It's more of a coloring book,open feel.
The type would be printed in black in the upper left leaves.

It could be used as is, or flat color could be added using Illustrator for a screen printed feel.
I liked this one, but I wanted to do a "fully inked version."
So I inked it again...

This time I used "heavy blacks" to make sure the focus stayed on the girls hand.
I focussed on texture and giving the robins some "personality."
I really like this version. It will go onto my web site and to my agent.

I still had the urge to paint the image in color to get that "fall feeling" with the color.
So I went back to the rough and transfered it to a piece of watercolor board and made a tight pencil drawing. Then I did an under painting using watercolors.
It came out like this...

I removed the upper right nest.
I have to say that this is the first time I purposely started with an underpainting, and I was worried about how the final art was going to turn out. So I put it away for a few days because I wanted to start the next step of painting it with gouache when I was able to sit down and focus on it properly. The holidays were here and there was no time for an involved painting session.

Around the 27th my wife got tired of looking at me a day and told me I needed to get back to work. So I spent all day out in the studio and painted the final version.
I was still worried about how it was going to turn out, so I started with the robin on the left to build up some confidence.

He came out like this...  

I liked the way he turned out. So with my confidence restored I continued on with the rest of the painting.
It turned out like this...

I like it. It's not the usual bright "Yellow, Red, Orange" fall pallet. It's more of a muted version.
Now I can say I am done with this image. I don't feel the need to do any other versions of it.
I am considering using the multiple images in some sort of self promotional way.

There were a few revelations that came from doing several versions of this image.
The first was that I have always liked doing black and white art. 
So I will do more.
The second is that I like to do animals realistically with some personality. 
So I will do more.
The third is that my work improves when I search for reference materials and use them to influence the final art instead of making everything up from my imagination/memory all of the time. 
So I will do more.
The fourth is I like to paint. And I need to develop my color sense and modeling of the form. 
So I will do more.
Lastly I have talent that people want and I need to let them know it with self promotion. 
So I will do more.

So my recommendation to you for 2010 is "to do more."
Good luck in the new year!