Monday, October 31, 2011

Beach Holiday

Carmine red pencil and graphite on copier paper, detail.
5.08 x 7.62 cm (2.0 in. x 3.0 in.)

Watercolor on paper, detail.
5.08 x 7.62 cm (2.0 in. x 3.0 in.)

As soon as fall hits, the clock starts; the countdown to the end of another year and the beginning of a new one. In between, there arise successive holidays each bigger than the last. On my mental production schedule, the autumnal equinox means that it’s time to start on Christmas cards.

This year it concerns Little Tuffy and the Tuf Gurlz, a front-back spread and in watercolor. I’ll reveal the whole image some time after the New Year (sooner perhaps on “Fan of Bryan Mon” on FaceBook). However, in this detail, I demonstrate my restlessness as an artist; meaning that as long as I’m working on a piece of art, I’m tweaking it. In the draft, I roughly drew the layout in red pencil. I then transferred the image to watercolor paper by rubbing graphite on the back and drawing over key parts with a hard graphite pencil. 

You’ll note that I did not transfer the seaweed vines (at top wrapped around a cluster of surfboards), nor by accident the sandman’s hat. The prior allowed me to finalize the seaweed pattern on the watercolor paper more cleanly. The latter only meant that I had to draw a new hat. I might not have redrawn a wider brim in the transfer process, but certainly being forced to draw a hat granted me liberty to do do so or draw a different style hat if I wanted.

Everything else, including placement of shadows to suggest the undulating surface of the beach is part of the coloring process. I’m only a painter because of a medium. But more accurately, I am a colorist, layering on colors to manipulate focus, suggest temperature or emotion, or as I did here, add spots of red and green because of the Christmas theme.

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