Medium: Watercolors, India ink, various mediums
Size: 25x20 inches
For detail closeups, prints, and original painting: -click here-
"The Lady drew herself up tall, and the lanterns dimmed by comparison to the unfiltered aura of her being. She was slender, with emerald eyes, and up close, Lily could see the fine veins that traced under her translucent skin like a fan of tattooed lace. Her hair was thick and black, and coiled in a serpentine cascade of braids. Jasmine blossoms were twisted into the strands, like sweetly perfumed stars. She wore a green silken shift with a subtle pattern woven into the threads, and belted at the waist with a tangle of jasmine vines. The patterns in the silk of her gown shifted and writhed like living runes, and her stark face was both terrifying and beautiful."
Started with this scribble of the faerie Queen Mab (lady of dreams) in my sketchbook. Looks faintly like Southeast Asian statuary. Regal. Distant. Slightly alien.
And her handmaidens.
Then a thumbnail to try and figure out how these initial elements might be placed on the page. Thumbnail sketch is only about 3 inches wide. Very quick. Mostly composition and placement of everything. I had some faint ideas of lanterns (the circles), and two twisted trees that Mab stands between.
Once I knew the rough composition, I had some other figures that I needed to develop in order to fit into that framework, and also determining more exactly the shape of the trees that Mab was standing between. So more scribbling in the sketchbook. A lute player lounging behind her, and more musicians in the tree branches, as well as fey spectators.
Now to combine things with Photoshop. Scanned all the sketches and moved things around in Photoshop so that they were all roughly in place.
More Photoshop combining.
And still more. Sometimes I mirror flip the sketch back and forth at this stage to spot balance issues in the composition. The reversed view gives a fresh vantage.
After I settled on the composition, printed it out and refined the sketch as I transferred it to the final drawing surface. This is one of the intermediate transfer sketches.
I seem to be fascinated by poppies lately. Well, I guess I always am, but more so in recent pieces! But they have been fitting, as flowers of sleep, and these pieces have been about dreams.