Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Peek Into My Creative Process

WIP - book illustration (copyright Sara Light-Waller, 2013)
Do not share, pin, re-post or in any way re-use this
picture without the artist's express permission.

As most of you know, art doesn’t usually spring forth, fully-formed, like Athena from Zeus’ noggin.’ Instead, it’s a deliberate process, sometimes requiring a great deal of tinkering to get just “right.” Myself, I’m not a fussy artist, constantly going over the same passage (whether in a story or in a painting) again and again until perfection is reached. Oh sure. I revise and build with care. But there’s a feeling you get when something is “right” or "complete" and I tend to stop somewhere around there. How do you get there? Through blind feeling, contemplation, and experimentation.

Pen and ink is an unforgiving medium that doesn’t handle mistakes well. Back in the day (before Photoshop), it was much more difficult. You needed to know the road you were taking with your piece and follow it boldly, pressing on without fear. This is still true now even if you can now make corrections later on the computer. You still need a road to follow.

The current book illustration is a bit of a deviation from the rest. It’s much more Heath Robinson and less H.J. Ford. What does that mean? It means it’s a more decorative panel, less busy, and much more “designed.” Why? Somehow this just fits the scene better. (Thank God I don’t have a publisher who’ll slap my hand and say, “No! It’s not consistent with the others. Do it over!" *blown raspberry*)

Contrast studies underway
As you can see in this photo, I’m currently doing contrast tests for the final illustration. I’ve made notes in the margins of things I like and things that aren’t working for me. I’ve already made some final decisions but haven’t figured all of it out yet. I won’t move forward with the final piece until I have all the details worked out on these photocopied test sheets. This may take a little time to work out, but it'll be worth the time for having the final piece balanced out to my satisfaction.

Okay, now back to our scheduled contemplations...

No comments:

Post a Comment