Saturday, January 15, 2011

Painting's Progress

Well, my Winter Swine Hibernation is beginning to thaw, I can feel it. I have a handful of paintings left to finish- the Grand Finale climactic scene is next, and that one will be a whopper. Even so, I am starting to feel the itchings of spring. Like, subtle urges to have coffee with friends, for example, or the odd desire to put on some real clothes. I am also being forcibly outed from my winter cave, as my new children's book illustration class at Pacific Northwest College of Art starts on Tuesday! (see a description here). It will be nice to be out and about again (one day a week), and to give my PJs a rest.

Anyhoo, I took some photos of the last painting I did to document the process. I had my sketch & color study done, so I transferred that to my final paper. Those orange scribbles on the back are my transfer method, made using an orange Prismacolor colored pencil (NOT "yellowed orange", but "orange", as my poor beleaguered husband found out the hard way. I felt like a real diva that day- "Are these RED M&Ms I see?!? I SAID NO RED M&Ms!!!!"). Anyway, I take that pencil and cross-hatch all over the back. Then I flip it over, place it on my good paper, & trace the front.

(you can click on all of the pictures for a larger view)

The transfer is pretty good, but I usually add a bit more pencil detail with both the orange Prismacolor & a good old #2.

For this book, I've been outlining most of the illustrations first with a fine brush.

Then, I start blocking in the color! This part usually goes pretty quickly, and tricks me into thinking I'm almost done.

Then it's layers, layers, layers. I keep my paint pretty thin- I tend to lose control of my line work & things get too chunky if I lay the paint on thick. It's a longer process, I think, but it works for me.

The stage from the painting above to the painting below always seems to take the longest. I always find more details that I need to add in! The polka dots on Mama's dress, the stripes on Mr. Hamstring's sportscoat, the flags above the stadium, etc. I'll tell you one thing I've been LOVING to paint- the crowd in the stadium! I'm being for realsies about this, too. Especially as the story progresses towards nighttime- it's been really fun painting the camera flashes & twinkly lights in the stadium. AND... the sequins are about to come out! YES!

And now, back to work!


Lauren Castillo said...

So cool to see your step by step process, Vicki! And even before I read about your love for the crowd painting, I was going to say how great you handled the stadium spectators! Keep up the great work :)

Christina Rodriguez said...

Boy, I need to start taking pictures of my process. I never do that, but it looks so cool on the blog!

I love how you captured the semi-translucence of the pig's ears!

Vicki said...

Thanks, illustrator pallies! Yup, I enjoy taking pictures as I go- I think I first saw Anna Alter do that. I like having proof that I've made progress at the end of the day!