Here’s a new piece I did recently. I had a vague interest in making a few samples from common folk tales in order to diversify my portfolio a little, but it wasn’t until I looked at an old National Geographic image of a Slovakian forest that I felt inspired to complete something. The photo in question was a little ominous and creepy and yet beautiful and full of light, and something about the atmosphere made me think of all the European fairy-tales that feature children wandering off in the woods.
In painting this I made a conscious effort to loosen up a little. One of my recent critique comments was about letting the paint be paint, and to not attempt to make it “perfect.” It’s challenging to loosen up when I know how easily a watercolor can be ruined, but I’m trying to let dark areas blend into one another and allow the foliage to be a little more free. It’s still not where I want to be, but I think it might be a tiny step in the right direction.
For Little Red’s character, I spent a fair amount of time ransacking my closet for something that seemed like a suitable Red-Riding-Hood costume so that I could pose and photograph myself in it. I wasn’t terribly successful in finding a charming French Peasant costume, so I had to make some leaps of the imagination anyhow. However, I think the process of posing as the character was very hepful for me to understand her emotions and the expression on her face.
Developing characters with real, believable personality is definitely something upon which I’m working to improve. What makes my character unique? What does she like and dislike? What’s the first thing she does when she wakes up in the morning? I don’t always know the answers to these sorts of questions, and as a result my characters often end up looking bland and altogether too similar to each other. It’s an ongoing effort, so perhaps I’ll continue the discussion of faces, character and expression in another post.
I’m going to add this original and possibly prints to follow to my Etsy shop, so check the shop soon.