Dreaming Beyond the Gray
Size: 25x14 inches
Detail closeup views, prints ($16.95) and original available -here-
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Some of the in progress stages:
Initial concept and thumbnail doodles in my sketchbook, and some notes to myself about coloring.
First pass at a sketch for the figure. Actually started to develop this much further, but then when I got to the ribbons attached to the sides and back of her dress, a thought occurred to me. What if they not only held her dress on, but her whole facade, like a full-body mask.
Resketched with the new approach. And the blackbird flying into the void of her body.
Transferred the sketch to the illustration board. Sketched out the poppies and the woman fairly detailed. The rest of it was going to be left to chance and serendipity. Large scale application of the experimental techniques I've been playing with in the past month. Took an inch wide flat brush and slapped India ink all over the upper third and right side. Then I tilted the page and let the drips trickle down,
After letting that dry, I was fairly certain I had completely screwed it all up and was absolutely hating how it looked. I considered tossing it entirely, but decided to sleep on it and see how I felt in the morning.
Well, sunlight didn't help my perspective. I still hated it. But I slathered some white and green and decided to keep slogging onward. I focused on the parts I knew I could handle, within my comfort zone: the details of the gray queen and the raven. Detailed rendering so that I could ignore that huge black splotch staring at me from the other half of the piece.
That made me feel better. Slightly. Brave enough to try tackling the Splotch. While painting the queen, I started to see shapes in the textures of the upper green areas. Distant walls of a city.
Okay, the scary randomness was starting to get a little more under control after the city appeared. I worked some more on the poppies at the bottom, the only other part besides the gray queen that I had purposely planned. As the sloping ground started to resolve, I saw eyes and ghostly shapes waiting among the poppies as well.
Hello, my friends.
And the darker foreground ruins.