Monday, August 19, 2019

Kara in the Bromeliads

Saturday, I finished this watercolor illustration of Kara, lost among the bromeliads.  It'd been sitting on my drying rack, first as bluelines, then as pencils, for at least a couple of months, along with the rest of the huge stack of half-finished art that's been piling up.  


During the day, I've been working on Naomi's bonus chapter for 7" Kara Volume 2 and using my evenings to wind down and paint.  At first, it was used specifically for Volume 2 materials- the cover, title page, page border illustrations, cast of characters page.  I decided to sneak this one and her sister piece (Kara in elephant ears) into the mix.  I have no book-specific use for them yet, but I wanted to paint something a little different in the evening.

Materials:
HB Pencil
Mix of watercolors- Winsor and Newton, Daniel Smith, Mijello, Holbein, Sennlier
Mix of watercolor pencils- Derwent Inktense, Supracolor II


The sketch was a doodle to keep my hands busy while I was in Luling during Christmas.  Internet is poor there, and the lighting is bad as well, so it's a great opportunity to do digital work.  A lot of my Kara illustrations fall into the same trends- close up, lost sense of scale, limited background, upbeat.  I wanted to do a few illustrations that changed that and gave me more material to play with when promoting 7" Kara. 

watercolor illustration, watercolor art, kidlit art

This isn't my favorite piece by far.  It's overworked- the bromeliads are way too dark, I lost a lot of the freshness it originally had.  The bromeliads are also too rendered and tight- they feel stiff and formal.  This piece isn't fun, it isn't lively, and while it does convey a feeling of being lost, the stakes are lost.  I struggled with the paper as well- I used Blick Premier cottonrag paper, removed from the block to run through my printer, and for some reason, it handled really poorly this time.

But none of that actually matters-not really.  In three months, these flaws won't really stand out to me, and while it will probably never be my favorite piece, it's passable and serves a purpose.  Sometimes you need art you can share while you're in the middle of a new comic chapter.

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