Monday, February 18, 2008

Illustration Friday - Theory

Another week, another challenging topic for Illustration Friday. Theory. First thing that came to mind was a line from the song "Speed of Light" by Bruce Carroll that goes:
"When I add up Mr. Einstein's calculation, The theory of relativity say E=MC squared..."

I know next to nothing about physics. Scientific theories that I've heard of didn't inspire me. So I stuck with with a topic that interests me very much. Color theory.

If you google that term, you'll get plenty of hits and find lots of info.

The relationship of complementary colors interests me, so I came up with a project where I would layer complements in a way they could not blend.

After reading some blogs last week where artists were using Caran D'Ache Neocolor II watersoluble pastels for underpaintings for colored pencil work, I came up with an idea for adding texture to the paper so I could build up plenty of color.

Neocolor II pastels were used on Crescent Illustration Board for the underpainting. I started with a loose sketch of an imaginary sunflower that I colored in with scarlet red on the flower and vermillion orange for the background. Just a touch of olive green was used on areas of the center of the flower. I used a wet fan brush to blend the pastel.

To add texture and seal the underpainting, I applied Liquitex clear gesso using the fan brush and horizontal strokes. Clear gesso is very gritty compared to regular gesso. It reminds me of a cat's tongue. Once dry, I was ready to apply colored pencil.

The background was filled in with Prismacolor Ultramarine Blue. You can see the underpainting coming through because of the textured gesso. The complementary colors (blue & orange) play off each other and make the background exciting compared to a monochrome or analagous color scheme. I love Van Gogh and this reminds me of effects seen in his paintings.
The petals were worked in shades of yellow and red with white accent. The center was done in olive, red, yellow & white.
One undesirable outcome of this method is color smudging. I tried working the color in with a stencil brush and rubbing some excess off with a tissue. Due to the nasty cold weather, I didn't take this piece outside to apply workable fixative. I want to explore this technique more and will try the fixative in the future.


Fannie said...

Hi, Regina~
You've been tagged. See my blog post dated Friday, February 15 if you want to play. Participation is voluntary; no obligation.

Nice submision for IF. I'm still working on mine.

Stephanie said...

All that color layering really makes the final piece pop! Very interesting to hear your process, sounds like you had a lot of fun working this way. (Makes me want to break out my colored pencils again!)

Heather said...

Very interesting way to approach complimentary color--and very effective.