Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Creative Process for The Mermaid Hunter cont.

Let me start off with an apology. I promised to show you the stages of my creative process on The Mermaid Hunter sketch, but I seem to have jumped a couple of stages. I got carried away and forgot to stop and scan! So here we are (a couple stages later). I'll try to make up for it by explaining what was done.

First of all, here is the sketch as it looks at this moment:
Not so sketchy now!
Here is what I have done so far;
1. I decided to outline all of the lines I liked in dark blue colored pencil, because I want an overall hue of blue to run through the final picture. This is because it's an underwater scene. I plan to add a blue watercolor wash over the whole thing once the pencil work is done. I think this will work out the way I envision - we'll see! (Not everything does and I just have to be philosophical about it - shrug and say "Well, at least I learned never to do that again!"
2. I began to layer in light shades of the different colors I wanted throughout the picture. I added a layer of light greens to many of the objects (Mermaids tail, skin, hair and scales, plants, narwhal tusk). I used a variety of shades (apple, grass, spring, chartreuse, french green and true green). I added light shades of blue as well - to the mermaid skin, tail and scales, the shark, the rock, the water. Then touches of pinks - magenta, hot pink, mulberry - to the skin and sea anemones. I added a touch of lavender to the shark, rocks and tail. I finished off the colors for the shark by adding a layer of silver. I added a jade green to the rocks.
3. I considered the layering was done and began refining each object. At this stage I deepen the colors on each one, sometimes adding a little extra color here and there, and blend the layers together. I blend them by using the lightest shade on the object, or white, cream, or a colorless blender. In this case I used the lightest tones on the long seaweed plants and cream on the ones growing out of the rock. I don't want the color to be too solid as I am hoping (!) the watercolor wash will fill enough small uncolored space to give it an overall underwater effect.

After I did the plants I realized I had jumped a couple stages of the process, made myself STOP (it's hard to do when I'm into the flow!) and scanned in what was done so far. So now I'm off to finish this stage, which is to fully color all objects. I'll be back (I promise!) when that is done, so we can all look at the picture before I hopefully don't ruin it with the wash!

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