Sunday, February 20, 2011
I was going to show you painting techniques as they were used for that picture of the ladies on the beach. But I have a better idea: rather than tell you about something that is finished, about which I would be speaking after the event, so to speak, I think it would be better to show you something I am working on as I do it.
I am working on a painting this morning, of a mother presenting her little girl with a bowl of hot porridge sprinkled with blueberries.
This will be for my latest kids' book and it's a really great project. The book is about a little girl who insists she does not like fruit. Her mother shows her how delicious it is by tempting her with strawberries, oranges, bananas, green apples, bluberries, grapes and plums....any clever little chickens notice anything? Ten out of ten if you noticed they match the coours of the rainbow. So the book is FULL of colour. I am indulging myself utterly by giving the mum the most gorgeous vintage dresses to tie in with each scene's colour.
As I said, today I am working on the blueberry page. So blues of every shade are the prevailing colour of the page. So what did I give the mum to wear? Something vintage (50's in this book's case), something blue? It HAD to be a sailor dress. As usual, I took to trusty Google and found some photos of beautiful dresses inspired by sailor themes.
I have by now sketched out the mum in her gorgeous dress and I have designed an apron for her to wear (in every picture she wears an apron with a print of that particular day's fruit on it).
Remember I said that I use a really heavy-quality paper for my initial sketches? I pointed out that when it is good and heavy you have the scope for lots of rubbing out, which allows you to be really free with your drawing. I cannot over-emphasise the importance of this. The above image has been rubbed out a million times but the paper remains smooth and the drawing is clear.
The next step will be to trace the image onto heavy grade tracing paper as I described the other day. This will then be transferred onto heavy cartridge paper and painted using gouache and Dr. Ph. Martin's Radiant Concentrated Water Color.
Then I will paint it, and I will post EXACTLY how I go about this - and how easy it is.