Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jungle Gal!

As I look over these blog postings thus far, it occurs to me this place is in need of a bit more colour. Most of my personal art is, I'm afraid, in black and white ink line, so the colour pieces are going to be the exception to the rule. Anyway, here is one that started out as a pencil doodle that I then tacked up on my corkboard above my drawing table for inspiration. Some time later, my friend Adam was around asking if I could give him a quick painting demo to help introduce him to using gouache, my paint medium of choice.

I decided to grab this jungle girl doodle as a fun subject to use and proceeded to trace her down onto some illustration board using graphite paper. Prior to using graphite paper, however, I usually like to rub away most of the excess graphite, as it tends to be a bit greasy at full strength, making it more difficult to cover with the paint. Once on the board, I started to cover the main areas with mostly flat tones of colour, sometimes working in a bit of wet-on-wet, like in her hair, but mostly leaving the rendering to a layering of dry brush applications. I really like the dry brush approach with gouache, as blending it can be a pain in the butt and there is something so nicely illustrative about a clean, crisp dry brush technique.

Due to this just being a quick painting demo, I was working pretty fast and the result is certainly on the loose side. However, I really kind of like the spontaneity of it, rough spots and all. Just for fun, I later scanned it in and Photoshopped it onto an appropriate jungle photo background.

Like a lot of longtime cartoonist and illustrator friends and colleagues of mine, I really love the gouache paintings that used to be the norm in magazine and children's book illustration. I'll probably post some links soon to illustrators from the 50's and 60's whose work I really love in this medium.