Thursday, May 13, 2010

12WC week 6, part two

This is the second illustration for the Arab folk tale I described earlier.  Again, this is just the pencil stage; I haven't quite finalized things yet- for example, the flower-like scribbles will actually become flowerlike flowers.  I'm not quite sure yet about the position of the eyes- but I like the way in which they appear to be looking past us, past the boy, off to the distance (towards the wronged fiancee?)...I may return the solid wall (which I will texture when I paint it to look as though it is worn stucco) to the way I had originally sketched it, ending a bit past the shutters- this would necessitate another colour/background behind the boy and the eyes- but another colour might be good.  The inside of the room will be a darkened colour (still thinking about the colours for this one) with a small pattern on the wall.  I was thinking mustardy-ochry yellows/browns for the wall.  More progress soon to follow!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

12WC, week 6, part one

Ok, so I'm giving up on pretending that it is still week 5, 'part two'... I could have posted the first very very rough pencil sketches of my Arab fairy/folk tale as week 5, but find that I am still unwilling to let anyone else see them... so on I go to week 6, which is this week, so that works out quite well.

First, a quick synopsis of the story for which I am going to be executing two illustrations; the title is "The girl who spoke jasmine and lilies".

 There were once three sisters.  The youngest replied to a question posed by their father with a rather self-righteous and contrarian response, which I assume is supposed to be interpreted as indicative of her goodness and piety.... her father casts her out, and she wanders out and marries the first poor labourer she encounters.  They have a daughter.  It is this daughter who is the focus of the story.  She is beautiful and good, and miraculous, too- when she washes her face in a basin of water, the water that has touched her skin turns to gold coins.  When she opens her lips, jasmine flowers and lilies tumble out.  News of her beauty, goodness and other special qualities spreads, and she is soon engaged to marry a prince in a nearby kingdom.

Her aunts hear of her good fortune, of course, and are jealous.  It seems wrong to them that the daughter of a poor labourer and their outcast sister should be so fortunate.  So they scheme.... they arrange it so that one of the aunts and her cousin (the aunt's daughter) should accompany her on the trip to the kingdom to be married.  On the way, the aunt deprives her of food and water, insisting that her cousin needs it.  She finally allows her a few drops of water in return for first one, and then the other, of the girl's eyes (which she cuts out, literally!).  Now that she has been blinded, the aunt turns her out of the carriage to wander alone, while they continue on.  The cousin pretends that she is the prince's fiancee, but he wonders about the lack of jasmine and lilies and the fact that she looks different, etc.  The cousin gives some inane excuses.  He remains suspicious.
In the meantime, the blind girl obtains some employment and disguises herself.  She fills a basket with jasmine and lilies and asks a flower seller to go into the kingdom and call out that he is offering jasmine and lilies for sale.  The wicked aunt hears this, and is eager to obtain them in order to allay the prince's suspicions.  The seller will only accept one eye as payment for the flowers.  What else is to be done?  The aunt cuts out her daughter's one eye and gives it as payment.  When the prince comes home, she shows him the basket and says, "look at the flowers that tumbled from my lips when you were away."  (keeping her bandaged eye turned away from him.)  The next day, same thing.... The seller brings the eyes back to the blind girl and she puts them into her eye sockets and she can see again... The prince follows ? the flower seller and discovers the girl, quickly realizes who she is, and all is put right.  The aunts and the cousin are not particularly punished, as far as I know, although the cousin does remain blind, apparently.

So:  here is the first pencil drawing, depicting the general state of things in the first part of the story- the loveliness of the girl, the scheming of her aunts and sisters:

The details of the drawing are not yet finished; I will elaborate the jewellery etc., also I will either draw the jasmine and lily flowers directly on the page or will do them separately to be added later...not sure yet.  The 'evildoers' corner' will be a darker blue, and the foreground will be a brighter, lighter colour- deep yellow perhaps?  Lilies and jasmine white, girl's garment bright pink.  I will add a background pattern but I will keep it simple; I do want to finish this someday soon....

The second illustration depicts the flower seller trading the flowers to the wicked aunt for the eyes.  I will post this soon.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

12WC: week 5, part ONE

Finished this page, hurrah!  I'm fairly pleased with it.  I'm still considering changing either the leaves or the grass to a darker, brighter green- they are too close in colour.  However,  I really like the contrast of the yellowish green against the blue sky; more likely that the grass will change.  For the moment, though, I'm leaving it alone and have started work on something else.  That 'something else' is the next two pieces, which will be illustrations for an Arab fairy tale.  I'll post the first (first presentable!) drawings for that within the next couple of days (who knows, I may even post some of the 'unpresentable' sketches- we'll see).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

12WC, week 4

Oh..... this past week was hectic and I did not have a lot of time to work... the task was to complete 2 pieces.  I work so slowly as it is, what with the fussing and all... but I did manage to get a good amount of work done on one piece, and a sketch for another.  The first piece was another version of the page that I posted last (goldfinches flying over little girl).  Here are my drawings for the new version, first:

I used different (more interesting, I thought) poses for the birds, added berries to the leaves, and, at the suggestion of Justin on the 12WC forum, added some foliage to 'encircle' the girl... I took another piece of Justin's advice (thanks muchly, Justin!), and adjusted the position of the lead bird's head, thusly:

(now, it appears that he is looking at the berries, which are undoubtedly tasty and not poisonous!)

I've painted the birds and the leaves; that just leaves me the girl and a wash for the lawn:

(the girl is not visible here; she is still in pencil.  Just a reminder, she looks like this):

I am much, much happier with the birds in this version.  I love gouache!  I'm able to get such great detail with it, and the colours are extremely vibrant and I can mix any colour or variation thereof that I require.  Paint!  Coloured pencils are great, but I love paint...

...the next step once the girl & grass are finished (which won't take long) is the pattern.  The pattern must be transferred onto rice paper, painted, and then pasted on to the page.  Luckily, it seems as though it won't be a huge space that I will be covering...also, I'm considering the possibility of using the pattern itself as a 'cloud' motif- that is, leaving a certain amount of space as a solid 'sky'.  Work reduction, hurrah!  Once again, this is the pattern- remember that I will be painting it in colours; it will not be b &w as it is here:

I did change my mind after all about the second piece- I decided to nix the Hans Christian Andersen and go with an Arab fairy tale.  I'll post the pencil drawings of that soon, very very soon, along with a description on all the gruesome details of the story.  (Sorry, my sketches right now are not only very rough, I also cut a couple of them into pieces to try the different elements together- not very suitable for scanning!)
                     ...back soon!