HummingBird Girl – the process
Been a long time since i updated this blog with something new – just haven’t done anything post-worthy. Not sure the following qualifies but i thought some would find this step-by-step process interesting. New painting, on wood, probably finished – first thing i did was give the wood a water-color wash (which shows up a lot better in this first shot since it hasn’t soaked into the wood yet).
Next, the easy part, the stencils of the girl’s dress and hair (which i painted using a fluorescent pink, thanks Brad, i love pink-haired girls). I wanted this piece to have an airy simplicity about it – didn’t work – looked unfinished – more on that in a second.
Love that pink. If i would have stopped right here, i may have been happy in some sort of minimalist way. Alas, i had plans. The next step was distantly inspired by the work of Audrey Kawasaki – I like how she leaves the look/feel of the wood within her illustrations. Look her up, kids, she’s dope. Moving on… pencil work.
i had never drawn on wood before – i was surprised how different it was from paper, learn as i go – most artists would probably find it a bad idea to jump into a painting without a clue – that ain’t me … so, pencil work looked okay. The grain of the wood was making some areas look darker than i intended but hey, this ain’t science. I have to stop using “ain’t.”
By the way, i used a projection of the image (that i compiled from various sources in photoshop) to make sure everything was to scale and in it’s proper place. Next comes the flower…
Initially i was going to do the flower in a different color. something subtle. but i never could decide what i wanted it to be. i couldn’t envision what would work best so i just kept it graphite, applying a bit more pressure so it would be darker. Later, i’ll apply some white to it. Next, giving the bird…
I knew i would screw this part up if i used a brush – i just don’t have the patience – so i whipped out the sharpies. Using ink instead of paint didn’t give me the dark contrast i was wanting but in the end, that didn’t matter so much.
Okay, so my vision for this piece was supposed to end with the bird – but the simplicity of the design just made it look unfinished – so i took the image into the computer to see how i could “improve” it. I played with it a bit, took another look at Kawasaki’s method, and decided to give the background a darker wash.
i thought that worked well – my technique of applying watercolor to wood-stain gave it an imperfect, rough look that i liked – contrasted the smoothness of the spraypainted areas. The next step is how i decided to add a bit more interest. CIRCLES! what?
I put circles around her head, the flower, her hands and the bird. The head circle is the only non-complete circle, the only one that is not in the foreground, intentionally creating a halo. The metallics are pearl-x mixed with wood stain. The circle around her hands is just wood stain.
So that’s it. i had to go back and re-pencil her hands and the flower so they would show up a bit better. I’m not sure if it’s finished – i never am – i’ll just have to stare at it for a bit.