Monday, April 29, 2013

Ancient mythology was one of my favorite topics as a kid, and the legend of Pandora's Box is one of those stories which inevitably spurs the imagination. The possibilities of what could come out of that box are endless, and of course I wanted to go with something suitably macabre and icky looking for my horror-loving self. The first sketch actually scares me more than the final product because she looks like the victim of some bad plastic surgery, and appears to be looking in the wrong direction, so some serious reworking of that face occurred ASAP.

I've been inspired to use line more lately, and while I'm really enjoying working in black and white I don't want to entirely stop exploring color. Working on an aquatic piece seemed a great opportunity to try out some vibrant colors. Ocean life, both fictional and nonfictional, offers so many ideas to play with. I'm having fun creating detailed backgrounds more and more as well as creating my own textures from acrylics. I'm finding that mixed media is quite stimulating for my process, and gives me more random factors to play with, which I otherwise might overlook.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Queen of the Night Process Work and Illustration!

Here's an ongoing project I've been working on. I'm really loving doing black and white illustrations right now, and finally got around to drawing something from my favorite opera: Die Zauberflote/The Magic Flute, by Mozart.

This is the scene in which the deceptive Queen of the Night appears to a wandering Prince Tamino, urging him to rescue her kidnapped daughter Pamina, promising he will be greatly rewarded.

As you can see in my process work, the concept changed a bit as I was working on it. Originally I had more characters involved (the Queen's servants), but then decided they weren't as relevant to the moment in the narrative, so I removed them and I also changed the male protagonist's expression to be more awed and concerned, rather than simply delighted at the sight of the kidnapped princess.

About the Queen's first aria:

In the first part of the aria, the Queen of the Night bemoans Pamina's capture in motherly grief. Just when you think the tragic song is over, the entire mood of the musical piece shifts. She declares that Prince Tamino will be the one to save her daughter in a hopeful and victorious manner. That was the particular moment I wanted to capture. In most productions Tamino has already seen a picture of Princess Pamina, showed to him by the Queen's servants, but I wanted to take a little artistic license with his love at first sight.

One of the things I enjoy so much about the aria is the vast number of interpretations one will find. The queen ranges from sombre, to seductive and confident, charming and bewitching, yet fiendish, to all of the afore mentioned. She really is a dynamic and wonderful character, and her arias are amazingly beautiful.

Here's a link to the aria with English subtitles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZnajWt115g&t=3m35s

for a great visual performance, I recommend Diana Damrau:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Some of my work thus far

2012: An illustration from The Chronicles of Narnia
Media: pencil and photoshop
2012: Degree Project illustration about greyhounds

2012: Handmade books and collection of illustrations from my degree project
>> Samples from the Degree Project book <<

2012: Keeping Watch     Medium: Photoshop
2012: Street Music    Medium: Photoshop
2012 Book Cover Commission
Media: watercolor, pencil, photoshop
  View on Amazon

2012: Geisha    Medium: Photoshop
2012: Japanese Folktale    Media: Ink, illustration board