Saturday, April 21, 2018

Humble beginnings

I don't like sharing the beginning stages of my artwork because it usually doesn't impress anyone, least of all ME!  It takes a good two or three sittings (in my opinion) for it to start taking shape.  At least that's how long it takes me to feel that its fine qualities are being revealed.  Before that, it just seems.... well... unclear.  I'm sometimes not confidant that it will rise to the mark I see in my head.  For me, the color is unsettling until it's toned down with graphite.  Then I feel more comfortable about it.

So I'm going to go ahead and post the colorful, unsettled state of the current piece I'm working on.  I've just barely started doing some graphite detail.

This helps to illustrate my method of working.  I start with just a few outlines, which set the perimeter for the color to be applied.  Once the watercolor is very dry, I begin the graphite shading, which is where most of the details come from, and lastly, I work on the background.  Sometimes the background is nothing more than one smooth color of matte acrylic paint.  Other times, I loosely shade the background, as if the details there are out of focus.  That's what I plan to do here.

You can barely see the pencil outlines on the left side.  There's more to the art than I'm showing here.  To show you this close-up image, I have cropped the file a bit, so the woman's hand and champagne glass are partially cropped out.  My goal with this subject matter is to highlight the two people and their different drinks.  The title 'Champagne & Sweet Tea' should say it all.  His denim jacket has frayed edges, her garment will be a lace top.  I'm enamored with the contrasts between the cut-crystal flute and the mason jar.  I'm enamored with mason jars, period!

Well, this is a very short post, since I've very little art progress to show.  I'll be kicking it into high gear though, working toward a late-May deadline.  See you soon!

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