Sunday, 9 December 2007

Two exciting pictures!

...Okay, maybe they are not that exciting to you, but they certainly are to me :D!

Yesterday the comics expert and his dazzling Elfie came over for coffee and cake, and apart from a pile of yummy comics (Courtney Crumrin Tales! Scott Pilgrim! Castle Waiting! Wonderland!) he also brought me a picture. Actually, it was my own picture - but a friend of his (I don't even know his name! - Nout?! What's his name? Linkie to his blog? plz? thx!) had been playing around with it - and given it digital colouring.

I was astonished when I saw the result. My first thought was, "Wow, he's real! He's, like, not flat anymore!" :D I am really surprised to find that this realistic way of colouring is not at odds with my simple line art. It gives me an entirely new perspective of what the finished product could look like, and it sort of reassures me that my kind of linework does not automatically disqualify the art from getting a look that is perhaps more appropriate to the war story it is supposed to tell than my rather cutesy cartoon-like style might possibly be. Drawback is that I am not capable of achieving this kind of colouring myself, and as far as I understand, the Hitherto Anonymous Artist is not looking for a long-time War in Gaul engagement. (And, to be honest, long-time always means looooooooong-time if I am involved :/.)

As you can see in the next picture, I am still more comfortable with monochrome myself... This is watercolour paint on sketchbook paper that is actually a little too light for it :-). Anyway, if it is exciting, it is not so because it is particularly brilliant, but because it is my first picture of a War in Gaul character that is not a development sketch or a kind of study, but a pure picture picture that is not meant to be anything but pretty. It's a shy start, but it is a start none the less.

It is, as you can see, a totally spontaneous, unstudied speed painting, done for no better reason than that I had a leftover of paint in what I thought was a nice hue. I had added quite a lot (I think) of Gum Arabic to make it more transparent. You can't see it on the scan, but the real picture actually has a vaguely glittery quality to it because of the gum, and is rather appropriate for something supposed to look cold and snowy.

My confidence with and enjoyment of watercolour is slowly growing. The results are not great, but at least I am figuring out a thing or two. In this picture I had fun playing with water and the wonderful stains it can make. So yes, those stains are deliberate :P.


waterzooi said...

My first comment under my new alias. :-)

It's lucky I happened to check your blog because for some reason I couldn't get your pictures to open properly on LJ. The first one appeared after a very long wait, but the second never showed up at all. The coloring is beautiful! It really does make the character come alive. If you had the proper software program, you could teach yourself how to do it, I imagine, if that's the look you decide to go for. The colors are quite striking and it does achieve a nice balance -- sort of a cross between a comic book drawing and a book illustration.

ampersand said...

Squee! :D Hello my dear waterzooi! *hugs*

The pictures wouldn't open? That's strange... But hey, I don't mind getting comments here - as you can see, it is rather quiet :P.

I am not sure I could get a look like that even if I had the proper equipment. It is not only a wholly different way of applying colours; it also takes a different ... I don't know ... personality? inclination? aesthetics? It's just not like me. I would never do it that way. What is important about it to me is that seeing the picture like this made me realise that I might be able to give my line-art to someone and let them have their way with it in terms of colouring. It is always very difficult for me to entrust something I (though an amateur) made to someone else, but sometimes I just have to recognise that they can do things with it that I cannot, and that it looks good in a way of which I could not conceive :-).

Cecilia said...

Oh, Arabic Gum! I've never used it! (in fact, I've never *seen* it for real). For which effects do you use it?
Thanks for the compliments ^^ I'm very, very happy you like my illustrations! Today I handed over the Lindgren illustrations, and the preview of the exibition will open on Friday - I'm quite excited for it.
I forgot to say on your last post that I love too Gaudì's style! I went to Barcelona on the last year of my high school, but it was not an happy time for me (exhausted for the impending final examination) so I didn't enjoy it as I should. But the Sagrada Familia totally won me over - I even bought a poster of one of the knight statues but I don't know where it is now.
As for your last illustration - it's very good, especially his (her?) face. It's clean but the hair shadow on the left adds depth and mystery. And I love the not completely open eyes that investigate before him (her).

the comics expert said...

What a fun development!
Uncover his latent (and timid) genius here
Be seeing you

ampersand said...

Cecilia: I got myself a bottle of Arabic Gum when I read that a thin layer of it on watercolour pans keeps the paint from drying out. When you add it to wet paint while preparing a mix, it also makes the colour more transparent. I have to confess that most of the time I forget that I have the stuff, but I remembered it when mixing this blue, and I rather liked the effect it got me :-).

The person in the picture is a he, but I'm used to people mistaking some of my men for women ;P.

Dear Expert: yes, it is fun :D! Thanks for the link - and for telling Bartel about me *g*. Must edit previous posts to add it...