We began in the usual way, by drawing thumbnails on parchment paper to get a feel for the composition. I had an image in my mind that I felt was a strong one, so I stuck with that. I'm terrible when it comes to thumbnails- once I get the idea in my head it won't go away, and I've pretty much decided what I want to do. I know this is a no-no...but what can I say, that's how I work!
It should go without saying - All words and art in this post are Copyright Melanie Linden Chan 2010.
I did a bit of research and sketching on the critters and things that are in my piece before I settled on this:
Next I did a color comp to get a better idea of what I was getting myself into:
(yes...it is in crayon...I was stuck at work with limited supplies!)
Then I stepped outside for a bit to make my colors! I used old newspaper, in both English and Chinese, and taped them to cardboard. Then my acrylics and I went crazy! I also added a touch of nature here and there- such as crumpled leaves and grassy textures, made with (can you guess?) grass:
...and here is part of my collection of paper:
I chose to use canvas for my base, because I want to have a nice final piece that I can either put into a show or sell one day. Of course I couldn't purchase a canvas size that fit my project's dimensions perfectly, and I didn't have the time or materials to make my own, so I settled with a 16x20, which is actually turning out pretty well. I messed around a bit before I came up with my background, using acrylic and layered tissue paper:
Of course I lost my crop marks in the process, so I put them on the side edges of the canvas and made myself a little composition frame:
A little bit of cutting and arranging...
The squint test wasn't working so well for me, but luckily my camera has a Black & White option so I can check my values. They definitely need some re-working! (plus the lighting is bad here)
That's all I've done so far...but this week is Spring Break! Too bad it isn't Spring Break in the working world as well, but I will take what I can get. Both "Mother Nature" and "Song of Spring" are due on April 26th, so check back in a little bit and you'll soon see the finished pieces!