I confess, I've been taking more pictures lately than I have been CP work... I'll be updating my photo blog today too! (That's my intention anyway). This was the view outside my front door yesterday afternoon.
So, finally here is the commission I started the end of October, and finished right before Christmas. To say this was a challenge would be putting it mildly.
My goal for this commission was to tell a story. A family story, that combined the past and memories into a "present day" time period. Are you confused yet? Also, this piece was to have not one portrait incorporated into it, but 5. 5, FIVE human, full bodied figures. Along with the old barn on the family ranch. Cowboys. Ranchers. Family. Oh, and maybe the dog. Emotion and Memories, so important to this story.
Size specifics: 14"x24" Colored Pencil. I used all Prismacolor for this piece.
The main actors in this story: A father (who passed away several years ago) and 4 Sons.
Secondary actor: the family barn
The scene extras: Possibly the dog, the equines and the bovines.
The scene: When the boys were growing up, they would help their father go to the family ranch and round up and brand the family cattle every spring and fall.
The Setting: The old family ranch. The old Barn to be exact. Which is where the holding pens and stock tank are located. From my understanding, that tradition is still carried on today, the Sons and their Sons now, at the same family ranch.
Because I was using so many different resource photos, I needed to base my perspective and layout on one specific item, in order to make this work. I felt the barn would be perfect for that. So I used the perspective, horizon line and direction of light, shadows based on the original barn image.
Next, I went to work laying out the actors. I decided to use the "paper doll method" to save me time sketching over and over again. I printed and cut out the figures and stock, changing sizes and re-arranging before I settled on my final layout.
Most important, while I'm using these photos to establish size and perspective, the only part of the actual resource images I'm able to use is one figure and the faces, plus the barn. All the rest I've had to make up myself, there are no images to rely on, just my original sketches.
I was told my drawing table looked like a CSI board.... I worked here until I ran out of room.
Finally... a rough final layout:
11/24/09 .. off and running!
Close up of the barn, which is itself a portrait.This is the first time I've used this technique on
landscape, I think it worked pretty well.
I also used a new method on the clouds. Still just prismacolor. Loved the way they turned out. I shall
be doing that again!
Mostly though, I enjoyed doing the fire pit and the cast iron skillet and dutch oven. Still no reference except for what I've cooked with myself, but way fun to create!
How big are those faces your working on? This is the largest one.
12/17/09.. Want to know how to give your client a heart attack? Tell her that you've erased a face at this late date! lol.. Not just any face, but the face of the person whom this gift is intended. Ut oh!
Then of course.. you have to put it back on...
One of the many reasons why I love my Uart....
12/23/09. Calling this one finished,
even though I would have liked to of had a couple more weeks to tweak it.
Framed and delivered just in the "St. Nick" of time? lol..
I guess it's time to update all those images I've taken now.. so off to my photo blog I go. I hope you all enjoy this commission journey, it was indeed a challenge. Challenges are good though, they help us grow.
Thanks for visting and keep scribbling!!!