Paisley – Illustration Friday

Here’s “Paisley Lady”, my Illustration Friday submission July 24th, 2010. The topic was “Paisley”. I threw me in a creative curve. I like IF weekly topics because they can sometimes expand your vision, and lead you into unexplored country.

It almost looks African, or Inuit. You be the judge. My idea was to create a profile using a paisley motif, but I think it I has a little three-dimensional feel (work with me here ūüôā ).¬†Paisley makes me think of textile prints, and bandanas. It made me think of my friend, the great artist, Laura Alvarez. I sent her a message telling her so, and not 2 days after that, she finished this beautiful piece. That was enough inspiration.

I doodled this overworked thing to get going. ¬†It was going to be a “paisley robot”, but the swooping lines hinted at the female form. ¬†After doodling, I researched some reference images. Traditional paisley is flowery, and beautiful, but not what I was looking for. I liked the “standard” read, white, and black pattern most commonly seen. ¬†I started the actual piece on the day of the IF deadline. I pencil-blocked only the outlines, and inked them.

At this point I was debating whether to color with watercolor pencils, or scan and color digitally. I also thought it called for a vectorized approach, but there was no time to research and learn. I’ll save that experiment for later. Coloring digitally would have taken longer than I could afford, with my current skills. ¬†A last thought of using an ink wash went through my mind, but that is still a trial and error proposition for me, as much as I love it. I decided on just inking the details in black, with no color fill. ¬†As soon as I started the paisley details, I was happy with my decision. There was no doubt I had just enough time to finish now.
My take-away: a learning experience, as well as fun art discovery time. My inking needs practice, as you can tell by the uneven coverage of blacks. The lines are far from smooth due to quick short strokes on the scratchy side. I used a micron type ink-pen.
I experimented with a tip from my good friend, Raul Aguirre Jr. Basically, he told me to “lead” the pen or brush point with my sight. ¬†The benefit was immediately evident. It gave me confidence. The strokes were longer, with less jitter. ¬†Thanks Raul! ¬†Check out his podcast at Man Vs Art.
This will be all for now. I have some more pieces to finish in the queue, dealing with watercolor pencils, mixed with ink, which I think will interest some of you. More experiments! That’s what this is all about!
Thank you so much for visiting, and have a great art time, folks!
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Published in: Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 at 12:41 am  Comments (8)  

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Don’t know how you did it, but I like it.

    • Thanks Rene… I’ll put up notes on the process soon.

  2. It looks great!I love making that kind of detailed work, I can be hours drawing small bits of my illos!

    • HEY! Thanks Laura! I believe I know what you mean. Will let you know when process content is added to this. You’ll like it, I’m sure. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Thanks for mentioning me!
    The form reminds me to a medieval knight-errant, and I do love imperfections, while little holes in the inking, scratches, textures… great job!

    • Thank you Laura: I was thinking of both sides… The natural feel of “errors” in technique is appealing to me as well. But, used to seeing flawlessly colored digitally painted images, patterns, and designs, it makes me think of how a clean version of this would appeal as well. I am happy about the idea… whether its analog or digital. That’s something we all accept after working in mixed media, I suppose. I’m glad I’m taking this art thing on, no matter what. It sure is a discovery trip, and I get to learn bits of everything… like my own little renaissance… a bit of the old, a bit of the new, and an open horizon. Thanks for your comment! Really appreciate your point of view.

  4. Nice stuff Jose and thanks for the mention! Fantastic design and ink work!

    • Thank you, Raul. Just trying my hand at different things, and trying to pick up technique as I go along. I kind of experienced the benefit from your “leading” tip, but I know I have to try it on something less “design-y”… like linework for a comic, or a more realistic subject… will do that. Thanks for visiting!


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