Thunderstorm inking is in progress this afternoon. I stopped to paint a cat on a discarded piece of paper (a piece of paper with two eyes cut out of it for Greyfur the puppet and a great deal of splodgy ink). This is actually a glorified-blob drawing. The blob suggested the Cornish Rex, and then I finished it off and put some shadow play in the background, experimenting with tone and shape in the way that I want to much more in the future. The Greyfur eye holes (bottom right) can be seen but have been filled in with a collaged piece of watercolour paper behind.
But here’s the thing. The original hard copy looks like this (below).
I’m reasonably pleased with this picture as a start. But it needs more tonal contrast and more definition in some areas I think. I shaded those blue areas over the top of this image in PhotoShop, almost without thinking, because I’m using PhotoShop so much to edit and enhance illustration work at the moment. I wanted to see what would happen if I added a further layer of colour and shape.
Now I can go back and add this over the real image if I want to. Or in a different colour and pattern. It’s a handy experiment that I hadn’t thought of before that might be quite helpful with my painting practice sometimes.
Here’s a section of the putto for one of the Thunderstorm Dancing spreads. He will have digital layers added and be incorporated into a spread design, but this is how he looks before all that happens to him.
Theme for this week, ‘selfie’. I am looking a bit Holly Hobbyish here with a large, collage head of differential calculus hair. It would have looked better with darker hair, but I didn’t want to lose the lovely calculus curves under a heavy load of ink. So I’ve left it lightly tinted.
I liked the way the little numbers and mathematical figures here and there remind me of insects or seeds that the chickens are constantly seeking.
The smooth paper of a vintage book reacts completely differently from the way proper watercolour paper should react to paint. But there’s something rather nice about it. It sucks up the ink in a thirsty way, remaining very smooth and composed all the while.
Scott discovered the word ‘groke’ the other day. We all like it in this house and think it deserves constant and affectionate use. It reminds us of Tove Jansson‘s Groke and it means this: to ‘stare at someone in the hope that they’ll give you some food’. (The Groke in Jansson’s Moominpappa at Sea visits Moomintroll every night to beg him to show her his lantern flame, because she is a lonely creature craving warmth and light but unable to get either. So it’s a poignant form of groking after all.)
With six pampered chickens and a dog, we get plenty of groking around here. Speaking of which, better go and lock the girls up.
(funny how sometimes my post headings don’t show up… It could be just at my end. Who knows? Now that I have typed the heading into the body of the post, no doubt it will come up as a double heading. Oh well :-)
I’m sure they’re not called sea lionesses. But they should be. It’s nice.
Investing in her future – felt tip, indian ink and gouache on book page
This drawing (or is it a painting?) goes with the Bactrian Camel. Both are painted in the same book about financial management. This sea lioness with her pup appears on a page about investment. As with the Bactrian Camel, the photograph that formed the basis of the drawing comes from The Wonder Book of Animals.
There is a second sea lioness on the drawing board. She’ll have to wait until I’ve finished ‘Poppy is the Thunder’, the current page in progress for Thunderstorm Dancing.
The Wonder Book of Animals: drawn in and drawn from. My copy is much more dilapidated than this one taken from an ebay listing.
This painting sprang from two books and a sudden urge to paint something in a mid-century modern way. An urge indeed! It got me up out of bed and I had to clear the drawing board!
I wanted a larger book than a novel format, so I grabbed a delicious weighty tome from the shelf, Raymond Chambers’ book Financial Management. Weighty in two senses.
As the book fell open on a page about Obsolescence, I decided to flick through The Wonder Book of Animals to find a subject who would fit the bill. I was vaguely thinking Dodo until my brain kicked into gear and I realised that the poor Dodo did not in any way become obsolete. Its very desirability (and perhaps amiability) caused its downfall. At any rate these mournful observations ceased when I set eyes on a photo of a lovely, shaggy Bactrian Camel. Not entirely obsolete, I’m pleased to say, for those who do not own a motor vehicle. But his lovely curvy form said ‘draw me!’ So I did.