Size: 20x12 inches
Prints ($16.95 for 8.5x11 and $26.50 for 11x17), original painting ($1500.00), and detail closeups available -here-
Some of the sketches and photos of the process:
Starting off as scribbles in the sketchbook. I considered several different compositions initially as thumbnails.
Settled on this composition, although you can see this was not what the final piece ended up with. This was just the initial starting point, but after considering it for a while, it felt far too static, because the fish was on a horizontal plane above the ground, and it was all viewed from a very stable and flat perspective.
So I decided to add a little more excitement to it. Tilted the ground to make it into a steep hillside that the children are tumbling down. It gives them more of a sense of movement and speed. (Both of these composite sketches were done by scanning all the initial sketches first and then taking the thumbnails and pasting the sketches of the children throughout, fiddling with size and angles and placement).
I liked the second composition better, so I went forward with it, finalizing the sketch onto the illustration board for painting.
Then the color rough to make a mockup of the final painting. I scanned the finalized sketch, then put it onto a separate layer in photoshop, set to multiply. Under that layer, I cut and paste some texture segments from other paintings and fiddle with the color settings on select areas to give myself an approximate simulation of what a final piece might look like. I really don't like doing color roughs, but I've found lately that they are immensely helpful in forcing me out of my "color comfort zones". I have certain color combinations that I use frequently, and that are easy to fall back on because I know that they work. Doing a color rough lets me try out combinations that I might not otherwise have thought to do.
One of my favorite little parts is this little corner, where I was able to retain the india ink texture in the initial wash. If you've been following my blog, you'll know that lately I've been experimenting a lot with mixed media. Primarily utilizing india ink to create darker pieces, and textures. In most of those pieces I've been throwing the ink and paint onto pieces of illustration board, letting it dry, and only then trying to "see" the image inside the splatters (like seeing pictures in the clouds). It's a very freeing and fun exercise, and I've been enjoying both the process, and the results. Now I'm really wanting to try harness those techniques into more deliberate pieces, where I dictate the subject and composition, rather than pure randomness.