It's time to PAINT!
I've decided to go ahead and paint two paintings before I finish all my tracing drawings. This strategy is to try and gain some confidence that I am making good progress on my time deadline. If at all possible, I am shooting to complete all the paintings a couple of months before the deadline (July).
I've already made the tracing for this painting...and I've already cut the painting board for it and labeled what pages these are.
It's time to trace (or transfere) the drawing onto the painting board.
I line up the crop marks (where the page is going to be cut by the printer when it is bound) on the painting board with the crop marks on the drawing and tape it down.
To transfere the drawing onto the painting board, I put a piece of graphic paper under the drawing and begin tracing over the top of the drawing.
The way that I paint is to use an "underpainting" color. Usually it is a darker color than what you will see on top (the finished look). So at this point I only need to trace "around" each of the big shapes...no detail inside them yet. Looks like this...
Here is my work area...the painting table is an adjustable table that adjusts to any angle and goes up and down. I paint in an almost straight up and down position because I've had neck surgery and looking down to paint or draw becomes painful quickly. Notice too that my chair is not something you would find in an art supply store. It is a 1920's dental chair! This gives me the rigid back support I need (neck surgery remember?). Handy little chair...on the right side you will see that the arm has a painter's palette mounted to it to place my paints on....and under it is the ole "spit basin" that now is my water holder. The colorful patch on the table is a "wipe place" for my palette knife that I use to mix my colors.
My liquitex paintes are to the side in an old coke bottle holder and other things I need periodically are close by. An efficient creative area is vital to quality production...each person should make their own area the way they find works best for them. This is mine after 26 years of doing art...
I've now painted inside the traced down shapes...the boy has dark brown and the thought bubble has cool blue underpainting.
Now I can paint the different details within my big color shapes. To know what to paint, I bring my drawing back over and put it on top of the shapes...lined up exactly the same as the first time. This time I slip a piece of "white" transfere paper under the drawing and trace down the details.
And here is what it looks like for me to begin painting on top of the darker shapes. I call it, "painting out of the darkness" ...or "painting into the light". From this point, I will just get lighter and lighter by degrees. Little places here and there of these underpainting colors will show through. I get to control where that happens. The underpaintings help to unify the whole picture and tend to give my cartoony pictures a little more realness...3D like.
So, I begin painting in the different colors of each area. I think I'll start with the boy's hat and the flesh tone inside his glasses which will be slightly darker than the flesh tone on the rest of his face and arms.
Now I'll continue on painting the boys flesh tone on his face and do his shirt and paints. Notice that it is pretty splotchy looking. I don't panic about that because I am painting each part by degrees...a build up of layers....dark to medium to lightest values in each area. You'll see...
I mix my colors on styrofoam plates that I get at wal mart. It affords me with a disposible clean surface that is white and shows up the colors I am mixing accurately. When I use up one whole side of the plate, I flip it over (after the paint drys...acrylic dries fast into hard plastic) and use the other side. Sometimes I will only use one plate per painting and then throw it away. For me this works well. Other times I've used wax paper (for the kitchen needs) taped down to mix my colors. I don't use that much water when I mix my colors, so I don't have to worry about colors sliding off the plate.
Time to work on the other shape..the boy's thought bubble. I've decided to first find the value of color that will go around the objects that will be in this shape and paint it in.
Finding that color first will help me more accurately know what colors to paint the objects that are in it. Then I leave the bubble again and head back over to the boy to build up the layer I've begun and get rid of more of the blochiness (sp?!).
Here is how the boy looks when I've gotten the shapes and values solid in order to put the fine details on top...
I go back to the thought bubble and detail in the objects there the same as I did boy. Here's the finished...
CELEBRATE!!! Whenever I finish a painting, because I know there are 18 to be done, getting one completely done is an awesome feeling! I picture myself in my imagination on a journey and I have just finished the first leg of it. Time to go get an ice cream cone with my wife! (We all celebrate!)
I went ahead and took the next drawing and took it through the same process as above...here is the beginning drawing...of the boy popping his balloon and Tiny barking in response.
and here is the finished painting!
Man....time for another ice cream cone! Having these two done is a definite boost to my confidence and I am on schedule. But this next week I will attempt to get 2 paintings done in the same week...this will mean I will need to put my nose to the grind stone and stay at it consistently.