Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Party Animals Week: Day Three - from first roughs to a general composition

I began my composition by simply fleshing out my idea in rough sketch form. I was not sure where I was going with it, but part of the fun is the journey. I just knew that I liked the idea of all different kinds of dogs dressed in party gear. Each type of dress would show off the individual dog's personality. I love to do characters and show little personality traits through what they are wearing, facial expressions, and demeanor. So I knew that this idea would work perfectly with my sensibilities!

> Enter my Party Animals book giveaway

Once I drew a bunch of the dog heads, I decided I would fit them all together, kind of like a puzzle, as though they really were at a party! I wanted to add my signature flourishes—a decorative border plus some fun title lettering, as well. But that would come later...

>Read about the Party Animals project in Scrapbooking magazine

I then took many of my dog heads and I worked them into the desired space. After scanning the original sketches, I worked in Photoshop to cut them out, head by head, and place them into the desired size of composition (in this case, the entire piece is 8" x 8"). I sized the heads to allow extra space for my lettering/title and the decorative border. Once this layout was complete, I printed out the art to actual 100% size on a piece of 8.5 x 11 paper. Then I drew it onto watercolor paper using my lightbox and the printout as a rough guide. I never trace art work directly because I feel that the finished traced line always lacks life. It makes a huge difference to just redraw instead of trace—it's like night and day! You can really see the difference! So instead, I used the print-out guide as just that: a guide, a marker for where things should be placed in the finished composition. Using the light-pencil lines I put on the paper from the lightbox/printiout sketch, I then redrew all of the elements freehand in my own hand once again. This time I generally followed the original sketch so the general characters is still intact. After this was complete, I then pencilled the title lettering and the decorative border directly onto the watercolor paper freehand.

Friday: ink phase and see the final painting!

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