Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Sunday rest

Hello there my dearest readers! Today I would like to share with you one of my latest projects, another commission for a private client. I was asked to portray two members of the client's family, her grand-mother and her mother, surrounded by their pets in a 'homey' atmosphere. Thus, the illustration is entitled Sunday rest, as Sunday to my mind is the best day of the week to enjoy free time and rest at home with the ones you love. And eat cake of course!

Sunday rest

I must admit that I have never made so many sketches for a project of that size before. Usually when I set to make any illustration (one piece about 21x28cm, that is to say one piece about 8.27"x11.02") I already have a clear picture in my head, and I make one or two sketches and take a few notes to make sure that I will not forget anything while I am painting. But this time the approach to it needed to be different, as I had to integrate a lot of specific elements into an A4+ piece of paper. And as you see I am the kind of person who dwells a lot on details, not to mention the trifling ones... The risk here is to overload the illustration with too much information and make it illegible - ugly and a strain on the eyes. The sketching process helped me find the key spots where I could place each character - furry and not furry - so that all had their bit of paper on which to shine, stand out, without overshadowing the others. I did my best to find the right balance, and for the time being I am quite satisfied with my work - in the near future I might think otherwise...

At first my sketches had followed a different path from the last ones that were made. I had intended to draw the client's house - always looking for an opportunity to draw houses, obsessed as I am - with a view of the living room seen from the outside through wide windows. Eventually I had to give up that idea as it did not emphasize enough the occupants and the homey feeling. Furthermore, I remembered the size of the working surface which would have restrained me from being as meticulous as I wanted to be while remaining 'legible'. I had to depict an interior scene, and a living room seemed to be the most cosy place in a house.

I do not see the point in showing you the fifty sketches I have made, they make no sense at all to anyone but me - you would be thoroughly bored, and I would die of shame. I would rather show you two photos of the illustration in progress instead.

sunday rest wip 4 sunday rest wip 5

You can see below a detail of the mother and the grand-mother (finished illustration).

Sunday rest detail 5

The pets I was asked to paint were a curly black dog, two cats, and one guinea pig. I was used to dread drawing guinea pigs until they finally grew on me; the more the shape is simple the more I find it difficult to draw it properly. Making simple and very precise lines is so hard, it drives me mad. But it's fun nonetheless!

sunday rest wip 1 sunday rest wip 2 sunday rest close up 1

Above: Guinea pig in progress, and detail of the finished illustration.

sunday rest wip 3 sunday rest close-up 2

Above: Black cat with glasses in progress, and detail of the finished illustration.

sunday rest close up 3 sunday rest close up 4

Above: details of the finished illustration. A curly black dog, afternoon tea, and a second cat.

The illustration Sunday rest was made with coloured pencils and acryl gouache on watercolour paper.

sunday rest close up 6

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