March 26, 2008
I recently got the most wonderful thing as a joint birthday present from myself and all my family… a Wacom Intuos3 pen tablet!!! Yay! I’ve been playing with it as much as I possibly can and am already getting the feeling of “how did I ever manage without it?” – Yes, it’s that wonderful. So what better way to test/use my new toy than doing something for illustration friday. This week’s theme is pet peeve – I can’t say it’s my favourite, but hey; at first I wasn’t sure what to draw, so then I thought “what annoys me more than anything else in the whole world?” – the first thing that popped into my mind was cockroaches. Yugg, evil little things, who ever thought I’d want to draw one… but there it is.
March 6, 2008
Wow, two posts in one day… maybe it’ll rain – oh, I hope so!!!
Anyways, this is my submission for the 4th International Tolkien Themed Art Competition in Poland. Wish I’d heard about the other three, but no matter. I actually stumbled across this one quite randomly – am very grateful for that; and very happy about the opportunity, as those who know me will testify that I am a Tolkien obsessed nut. What can I say: the man was a genius and the greatest author that ever lived! Now I know it’s not everyone’s “cup of Ent-draught”, but Middle Earth, Elves, hobbits, dwarves, dragons and orcs are the reason why I fell in love with reading.
Back to the topic… The theme for this year’s competition is “Battles of the First Age” – so many to choose from, but the most impressive of these must have been the War of Wrath, even though there wasn’t as much written on this one as there was on some of the others. I chose to highlight the moment when the Eagles flew in to the rescue from the overwhelming force of Morgoth’s dragons. I would have loved to have also portrayed Eärendil as he slayed the great dragon Ancalagon, but such a scene would have been deserving of a far greater scale than my A4 sketch pad and much more time than what I had at my disposal. Well I hope my work is good enough as it is. I would love to win, but far more than that I would love my sketch to catch the eye of the prestigious John Howe, famous Tolkien/Middle-Earth artist, amoung other things (who will be one of the judges of the competition). I’m a huge fan of his work (like many people) so it would really mean a lot to me if he saw something good in my sketch. Here’s hoping…
March 6, 2008
This is a painting that I did during the December holidays for my sister-in-law. She wanted something to remind her of home (she no longer lives in SA)… I thought about this one for awhile and decided that something like Table Mountain would be way too clichéd; so then I thought of going for something like a pincushion protea. However, while searching for reference material I came across this beautiful photo of a sunbird (that my mom had kept from a calendar – gotta love my mom, she keeps everything); I figured there’s some protea-like plants in the pic so it would do nicely… and I like sunbirds
It took a couple of weeks if I remember correctly. I first did a basic sketch on the canvas with my beloved 2B pencil; well kind of basic: I have a tendency to go into too much detail with my preliminary sketches – and then cringe when I paint over most of it with the first layer of paint. I used my trusty oil paints thinned with a bit of turps here and there in the background. Speaking of the background – it went through quite an evolutionary process, starting out as a post impressionist looking mass of leaf like blotches. It really wasn’t working because it looked too flat and didn’t allow the bird to stand out enough; so I employed my artistic lisence and went with a radial gradient (which, if you use your imagination, could be the sun’s light filtering through a lot of foliage); this makes the bird stand out more and actually draws the eye to it.
Please feel free to comment…