21 August 2009

When Old Ideas Won't Rest, Various Sketches, (1998) 2009.

My career as a comic book artist, was well, never really a career. It started with the love of drawing and writing and when I first began making pictures to go with stories, I honestly had no idea what I was doing and this drawing is proof.

It is the first image of a storyboard, on poster board, with felt tips and sharpies and maybe crayons. The big spot on the back legs of the character at the bar is a water stain.

Little did I know, while having the opportunity to work on this some-how-never-abandoned project this summer, I sketched this same scene. Only later did I realize exactly which scene it was and where it had taken place in the original story.

The original story was first a play (finished), a novel (only a few chapters), six pages of my first attempt at comic book pages which were sent to Vertigo who did not reply on the reply card I sent with stamps (I am over it, really). On to a screenplay, only about 30 pages. Then back to the comic book idea, which I picked up again last semester and finished three pages, which I don't really like. My patient mentor calms me assuring that it is my life's work.

It feels like my life's work.

One of the places that the character's hang out, is a restaurant called "Surgeons". It is set in the future, when the medical industry has become a thing of the past. All of the equipment formally used by the medical industry is a plenty and somewhat still useful and the restaurant uses much of this old equipment as a theme. Beakers for drinks, bed pans for potted Aloe Vera plants and other medicinal herbs. Waitress' wear vintage nursing outfits, chefs in scrubs and so on.

This is the watercolor and pencil sketch of this character sitting at the Elixir Bar at Surgeons.

Using the technique of making transfers that I learned from Andrea Granchi during the Florence in Fresno course this summer, I created this decorative image meant to adorn the Elixir Bar. I wanted it to look like a fresco, however, I couldn't quite get the look that I wanted on the acrylic painting so I painted over it but will attempt the same affect at a later session.

The botanical were sketches made from photos on a Google Image search. I thought the plants would look good in the interior of Surgeons. All selections have medicinal properties, the poppy for calming the nerves, Indian mint for headaches and lady ferns for treating stinging nettles.
More sketches to fill up space. I laboured over the ideas of this scene to the point that I became driven to make it look less simple and more complex without fixed perspective. The end product became more like a piece of cover art and less like a panel from a story board.
I had a conversation with one of my instructors about the work when it was at around this stage:
She commented that it "was not a place that she wanted to be" that perhaps, "something bad was about to happen". Which, is well, somewhat true, however, I really took her comment to heart and thought long about my color palette. I hadn't put much thought into the palette or the mood of the piece. I was totally wrapped up in the composition and the content. So, I mixed a bunch of pastels to nice it up.
When the soft colors became too sweet, I did what I had to do. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the quad (it was at least 104 degrees, pure insane art frenzy) sanding down the picture. It was a real thrill to take this rather violent stroke on this small 11" x 14" canvas that I had lovingly spent serious time with over the passing two weeks.
Although uncertain as I was in the days after, the work is now on my wall.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing the story about the the why and how, etc., it'a big offer! Verena