Sketches for another Dreamdance Oracle card. This one's called "The Precipice", with aerial silk dancing. Spent a while this morning watching videos on youtube of various performances, and doing some gesture drawings as I watched, to get the feel of it. I've actually tried doing it myself once, and I can say it's one the hardest things I've ever attempted! My whole upper body was sore and feeling like jelly for an entire two weeks. And ropeburn. Oh my, the ropeburn! Gave me new appreciation for the people who do this and make it look so serene and effortless.
Originals, prints, and closeup views available -here-
From the sketchbook:
And some more:
Mixture of stuff in the sketchbook. It's because I had two separate painting ideas floating around in my head at the same time. For this particular piece though, the initial inspiration came about from an impromptu ink sketch I did in someone's book. This piece:
The shape of the tree in the page, and the birds crowded into the hollow of it started tugging at my brain, and so I wanted to develop that concept some more. After a couple days of sketchbook scribbling, I pulled the disparate parts together digitally to create this composite sketch:
Refined, finalized sketch that was transferred to the illustration board. It took about 7 hours to do this. The size is 18x22 inches. Changed the girl's face a bit, but aside from that, stuck pretty close to the initial sketches.
Color rough. Playing around in photoshop with possible colors for the
piece. Set the sketch on a top layer, set to Multiply. Then I paste in
some background watercolor textures from other paintings, and fiddle
with the color levels and balance to get the tones I want. This took approximately 3 hours.
About 7 hours into the painting process. Still building up the background tones.
After painting most of the background, I used Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground on some of the branches that had gotten too obscured with blending background colors. This is the first time I've used the watercolor ground. A blog reader recommended it to me some time back, and I bought it, but hadn't had the opportunity to try it out until this piece. Unlike other white options for watercolor (like using gesso, or whiteout, or acrylic, or my favorite gel pens), using the ground essentially gives you a white paper-like surface to paint on again. It takes the pigment as paper would (the main purpose of the ground being that you can actually use it to prepare non-paper surfaces for watercolors. Like a canvas, or glass, or wood. Something else I do want to use it for in the future!)