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.
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.
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.