Friday, October 7, 2011

The Presence in Fall

Since my mailings I have had a great deal of "constructive" critisism on my art. I guess that is the life of an artist, to puit yourself out there and get ready for strong opinions coming your way. The post cards brought on a great deal of wonderful information and things to work on. The big kicker was attending a writer's/illustrator's conference. I had the amazing opportunity to have half an hour portfolio critique with a very established illustrator (who will remain unnamed since I wasn't a fan of his personality). The critique brought me to reality, in a very harsh way, that I need to push myself as an artist.

Well I am bouncing back with this piece and it was inspired by two of my favorite things. Jesus (who is obviously more favorite) and autumn. Andy and I went on a hike in the mountains during the peak season of the changing trees. It was breathtaking! The day was warm and crisp, the sky was blue, we were having a great time. That particular weekend, I had been studying a spiritual discipline called " practicing presence. The idea being through out the day, being more and more aware of God. The part that stuck out the most was paying attention to little interuptions. They may be God just letting you know he is near.

So there we were, walking back to our car, when WWHOOOOOSSSSSSHHH! A great big wind swept through and stripped gobs of leaves off the aspens. They danced and sparked as they flew over head. It was so beautiful, Andy and I just stood in awe for a second. Then suddenly, something clicked. Hey, this isn't just a random wind. That was God letting us know his beautiful presence. Instantly, I felt a closeness to him I haven't felt in a while and I will carry this moment forever in my heart.

I decided to do a piece about this moment as a memorial. Here below is my method for creating the piece.

The first one is just blocking in the colors. This is just the base, setting the tone and the composition. It looks very bland at this point. One thing that I have done here with composition is adding some depth, something that was mentioned in the critique. My paintings before were very flat, but by adding the trees lining in the background, you get a sense of some different levels.

This one I added the sky. By applying a wet brush of blue on top of a very dried painting, I was able to add the sky while making it still look natural. I did this before I did detailing on the tree but after the first layer so the colors are more true to what I want.

This one , I have added contrast, shadows and detailing. You can see how things are really coming alive!

Last but not least, I add my signature, whimsy pen work and this piece is complete!