HummingBird Girl – the process

by jbyron

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).

Step 1.

Step 1.

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.

Step 2 & 3

Step 2 & 3

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.

step 4

step 4

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…

step 4

still on step 4, pencil work

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…

step 5

step 5

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.

step 6

step 6

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?

step 7

step 7

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.

more step 7

more step 7

final?

final?

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.

Advertisements