Sunday, September 13, 2009

Inside the Illustrator's Studio

When last we spoke about current work-related things, I was busy working on my new dummy. Well, I'm happy to say that part is all wrapped up. For now. Next step? I wanted to do a finished piece from the dummy. Which piece to choose? Well, the vote was unanimous:


This was a vote that quite frankly, I wished to contest, because... this is the hardest illustration in my dummy. I feel a bit unprofessional saying that one piece is "harder" than another- I mean, did Michelangelo shy away from, say, painting horses because they were too "hard"? Then again, Michelangelo never painted trapeze-swinging spiders, did he? But all in all, the tricky perspective, the lighting I wanted, the X-treme close-up of the spider... This was going to take some time.

First up, I got out my spider references. Maybe you thought spiders were ugly? Well, take a look at this mug:

AWWWWW! A little too cute, actually. I used this spider as my actual reference:

Then, I fiddled around with my black & white sketch in Photoshop to test out different lighting & color scenarios. Truth be told, I was a little worried about the X-treme contrast (dark to light) that I wanted to achieve in the painting, and printing out this little color study will (I hope) help me overcome any wimpiness I run into.

So, I printed it out:
...and transferred it to my waiting paper (gessoed and stapled to a board).

First round of color...


second round...

and third round.
(click for an X-treme close-up of the x-treme close-up)

With many more rounds yet to come. One of the (many) things I thought about while painting today was this: I think that one of my main attributes that led me to be an illustrator is being able to do something for hours & hours on end without getting bored (this was while I was painting the teeny tiny floorboards). When we were kids, my brothers & I had this wooden duck marionette puppet, and every time you turned around, its fishing line strings were jumbled up in a giant tumbleweed knot. For some reason, I really enjoyed sitting down- for an hour, or two- and untangling all of the knots. Even at the time, as a kid, I would think, "This is really boring, and yet I'm enjoying it!" I'd say painting is more fun than untangling a bunch of fishing line, but still. The other thing I thought about today was, "How did I possibly listen to the High School Musical soundtrack 3 times in a row WITHOUT EVEN NOTICING?!?, and will this cause some sort of psychological damage?" I guess I just had my Head In the Game*. Will I be painting again tomorrow? Bet On It!**

*Zac Efron, HSM
**Yes, that's right, sharp readers! "Bet On It" is actually from High School Musical 2! I have both soundtracks! Not #3, though- I wasn't a big fan.

8 comments:

Kristi Valiant said...

What wonderful perspective! That seems like a great one to do in color probably because it's the hardest - it really shows off your skills.

Nina Crittenden said...

Fantastic- and I love that you shared the process! I love the little spider photo with the cute expression on it's face! Hope your cold is gone!

Shawn McCann said...

This is great Victoria. Love the view and the piece is really taking shape. Can't wait to see the finished piece.

Vicki said...

Thanks you guys!

Gavin Goo said...

I love creatures having fun in their own world! Great illustration and thanks for sharing the process! :)

Kristin said...

I love seeing your process. The perspective is great, the spider is so cute. And the lights! Oh my goodness the string of lights! I'm a sucker for those. ;)

adworld said...

nice picccccccsssssssss

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