Thursday, March 31, 2011

Exhausted but pleased!

“Woman Reading [Harper’s] Bazaar”
Well, I did it! I finished (and submitted) my piece for the Rock Your Inner Rockwell contest. I am very pleased with the results. Not only do I think it turned out well (and on time!) but I was also most happy with my process. I’d like to walk you through it today in case others might be interested.

With such a short deadline (see last post) I had to work fast to get this piece done. I started by taking a careful look at the composition and color palette of the original Rockwell piece I was recreating. In “Girl Reading The Post.” Rockwell used a cool color palette that was loosely organized into a split complementary color scheme. I decided to follow the master’s advice and also stick with cool colors in a split complementary palette. I didn’t choose the same colors Rockwell used in his piece, but since the scheme was similar, I knew that it would appear similar enough.

I decided to work a little smaller in size (9"x12') than I might ordinarily, again to save time. I intended to use only my Prismacolors for this piece but ran into some problems which encouraged me to expand my pencil choices. The biggest problem was that all of my pencil sharpeners started having major issues at once. I like to work with very sharp points and my good old Panasonic electric sharpener crapped out on me late yesterday. I then turned to several manual sharpeners and started having trouble with them too, breaking leads and chewing up casings. When I finally thought to dig up a few graphite pencils to sharpen between my waxy Prismas, things got better. But by then I’d so destroyed a few of my single pencil colors (see if I go into a rush piece with only one of any color again!)  that I needed to pull out some Polychromos to fill in. (I do love the Polychromos colors, they are so vibrant!) I also got out my Verithins to use for some of the detail work on the magazine cover. I must say they handled the details fabulously.

It’s rare for me to do a slice-of-life urban scene like this. But it turns out that I really enjoyed the subject matter and process I used to create it. With this one done, perhaps I’ll turn my hand to other similar subjects. It’s a new and intriguing idea for me and one I’m most curious to explore. :-)

12 comments:

  1. This is a splendid piece, and I enjoyed reading about your method. Good luck! nancy

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  2. It turned out great in spite of all the obstacles. Best of luck in the contest.

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  3. This is awesome =) Interesting and great result using combined methods

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  4. Lovely piece Sara, and interesting to hear how you approached the subject, good luck with the competition.

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  5. Love this drawing. you would really enjoy the exhibition currently at the Brooklyn Museum:
    Norman Rockwell Behind the Camera. It shows hundreds of photographs and a good many of the original paintings he did from them. I always thought of him as an incredible draftsman but the photographs show what an amazing art director/stylist he was as well.

    http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/norman_rockwell/

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  6. Very Rockwellish! Thank you for sharing your process. Darn sharpeners!

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  7. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments. :-) Magpie thanks for your link to the Brooklyn Museum show. I saw the book, "Norman Rockwell Behind the Camera" and was most impressed. If the show is still on when I'm in NY on May, I'll try to get over and see it. And I will certainly let you all know what comes of the contest. :-)

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  8. Lovely! Sounds like a fun contest.

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  9. Wonderful drawing. It is so well done. I love her body position. I am also pretty fascinated by all of the trouble you had (I can relate to the pencil sharpening problems) and by the mediums you use (half of which I never heard of). Cool post.

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  10. Thanks again for all the lovely comments everyone. :-)

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