Well. I finally enough time to work a bit more on this (this, for the uninitiated, is my bi-monthly study of the artists Kay Nielsen & John Bauer -- search for their names on my blog searcher to find previous posts on them). I spent part of the afternoon working on putting color into the Bauer sketch I had done last time. I was pretty pleased with the sketch and so I was relatively amazed to find that I made an utter dog's breakfast of colorizing it. Seriously, it looks like a three-year old drew it -- and I have one on hand to prove it (a three year old, not a dog's breakfast). And no, I'm not being modest, it really is awful.
Part of the problem was that I did the sketch on drafting film, which is amazing and greasy and buttery feeling for drawing outlines on -- and very tricky for subtle color.
Moving on. I decided that, rather than agonize over that sketch, I'm going to try an entirely new one on either pastelbord or paper. Phooeey on drafting film this time around. I also decided that instead of going with something subtle, I was going to try something completely wild and in the style of Nielsen & Bauer. I've had a composition in mind for awhile now and I think this project is the right one to try it on.
So this week, I paid particular attention to Bauer and Nielsen's use of pattern. I also wanted to focus on the elongated forms and the Hiroshige wave that Nielsen makes such effective use of. See the nice wave Nielsen used on his queen's and dancer's butts? (Nielsen's work on left) And look at the patterns of the two dresses that Bauer uses on his queen and his pining swan-woman. I also liked the way that the dresses weren't just a part of the composition -- they were the composition.
I wanted to try something like that. In my head, I had this idea of a stylized queen looking over her shoulder with a dress that looked as if it was stained glass. I desperately wanted to put one of two profoundly beautiful crowns into a piece of 2D art (links to discussions on them here and here, for those of you who are into history); both of them are from the medieval era and both made me catch my breath when I saw them (this from a non-jewelry person)(yes, I am a medieval geek). Sounds like me, right?
So I stared at the Bauer and Nielsen women and tried to determine what made them unique. For one thing, they all had these lovely, Gwyneth Paltrowesque long necks. Man, while I'm going hog-wild with the photos, I might as well show you Gwyneth's neck. See, there she is with her mom. It's obviously genetic.
And fabulous hair! Check it out -- long locks, or major up-dos -- the hair is important. Important, but simplified. Note to Maggie, who likes highlights: simplify. Flatten. SIMPLIFY.
And the faces are delicate, understated, careful. Hmm, I thought, unwisely. I can do this. Of course, by the time I had done all of this work, I had completely used up my study time . . . so it's going to have to wait until next time for the sketches. But I think there's some exciting source material here, and it's something I've wanted to do for awhile . . . so maybe I'll actually finish an entire project next Sunday.
Is anyone else doing this project, or am I by my lonesome?