Friday, March 29, 2013

A Big Reader

I just love books. If I'm not in the middle of a book, I feel off kilter. I probably read between three and six books a week (which really makes me wish I had a library that had any selection at all, rather than being the size of a public bathroom, but that's what you get for living in the country.) I have a kindle that I read all sorts of things on, but I admit to still loving the feel of a good, solid, heavy book. I especially love the old tomes that you simply never see anymore with their amazing bindings and covers that seem to be something of a lost art.

In the studio, I really wanted to do a full-size dragon, and a friend suggested one with multiple heads. However, I wanted to tackle a full grown dragon with just ONE head first, before I started complicating matters for myself. I didn't realize my dragon was going to be a book lover too, but as I worked through what I wanted him to be doing, I couldn't shake the books, and that resulted in this:



Before I layered in the background, I realized he wasn't quite fancy enough yet. So, I finished him off and then decided on a smokey rust background.


I should note that this is on the paper that ruined my elf painting. Since I figured out to treat the dragon scales as I did the peacock's feathers, I realized the rougher and absorbent surface might actually work to my advantage. Which is good, because losing a whole block of paper hurts my poor frugal heart just a bit! I am going to order the Fabriano for my fairy paintings, but until then, I still have this block staring at me. Mocking me.

I thought I'd be able to finish the dragon quickly, because the one in my previous painting snapped into place quickly once I figured out what I was doing. I realize now that the small amount of space it took up had something to do with the quick pace of painting, because a dragon that fits a 12 x 16" surface is not a wee small beastie!


Getting the face done helped. It's my connection point with a piece, the face. I know many artists put off the face until the end, but without the eyes to look into I feel a bit lost. I did have some help, a color consultant... but he's a bit of a diva:


Figuring out the armoring scales on the front of the dragon felt good too, once I hit on how I wanted them to look.


And then he was done:

"Lire" 12x16" acrylic watercolor on hot-pressed paper.


I have to tell you that I flat out LOVE him. And it is a him, as I think a female would have a more slender snout than this handsome fellow. The entire dragon is done in iridescent paints, and it shifts and glitters in the light like it's moving just a bit. Makes it tricky for a picture, but in person? I wasn't even sure I was going to put it up for sale because I like it so much (I did, but it was a close one.) Interestingly, I accidentally flipped it black and white when I was editing the print file, and it turns out those iridescent paints work beautifully for this purpose. You can see all the brushstrokes, and how detailed it actually is when turned like this. I liked it so much that I polished it up and released it as a print option as well:

"Lire" in black and white, print only.

I've managed to come to a resting, breathing point which is nice. I have been working hard, flat out, for several weeks now. More things are stirring too - I'm starting a new company! Art based, I just filed my LLC papers. I'm not losing my current one either, but it's something new. Something more, that I'll be excited to share more about when I can.

Busy busy busy! And now I'm taking stock of things. I know I need to run full tilt into Alice. Alice needs to be finished, as she's gone on far too long, and I'm not even sure I'm half way with her. I have the Cheshire Cat in progress, but there is much further to go. Red queen, Jabberwocky, Alice herself.  Yes, I believe an "Alice Binge" is on the horizon for me!

Easter is this weekend, and every year I have planned to do Ukrainian Easter eggs, and just never manage to get the kits together. This year, not only did I not manage to get the kits together, I didn't even pull out any of my silly Easter decor either. No eggs hanging on trees, nada. Some days, I have been working so hard that I am ashamed to admit that I have often forgotten all manner of basic human chores. *sigh*

But I'll leave you with a picture I took last year of myself, and the wishes for a happy weekend for you all - whether you celebrate the holiday or not!


3 comments:

Nadia said...

Love this one best!! It is like there is a story behind it, maybe because of the book. I wish I had a library to!

Manon said...

Happy Easter to you! The colours of this painting are divine. I love things to be bright they have such positive influence on our mood. It makes me happy looking at this wonderful dragon
Manonx

Magic Love Crow said...

That is such a cute picture of you! Happy Easter ;o) I don't have the words to tell you how I feel about your dragon! BREATHE TAKING!!! WOW!!! Your bunny is beautiful! Take Care ;o)