Saturday, November 28, 2009

Seal's Process: Swamp Treehouse in watercolor, gouache, and acrylic gesso

Both Monkey and Seal are looking forward to Handmade Ho-Down: Urban Craft Fair this upcoming Thursday, Dec.3rd. They will be selling original fine arts paintings and prints, handmade silkscreened ties, archival reproduction prints, zines, buttons, and more!

Below is one of Seal's archival glicee reproduction prints of her original illustration titled "Swamp Treehouse." So for this Saturday's Process Post, she will be doing a flashback and talking about an earlier work.

The original illustration was done on 15" x20" cold press illustration board, with watercolor, gouache, acrylic gesso, and graphite. The work was inspired by the story of Peter Pan, but Seal had always thought that Pan was a sinister figure, similar to the Pied Piper or the god of mischief, Pan. There is a selfish destructive, yet invitingly playful characteristics of Pan. So she decided that the Lost Boys' home would be in the swamps.

The sky and water were initially laid out in watercolor, she glazed some of the warm colors more opaquely with goauche. Below is a close up of the main tree on the right. She utilized acrylic gesso to create some of the undulations and textures on the moss and trunks.

Before working on the final illustration board, Seal does color studies with gouache on paper. She explored daytime and nightime lighting. These can be very rough, spending only 30-2 hours on each. She liked the mood of the foggy very early morning/late at night with the warm lights emitting from the treetops of the house. She pushed the different range of blues on the final painting to include some purples and greens.Seal is normally shy about showing her line drawings because they are unrefined and show a lot of mistakes, but below is a rare peek at her original line drawing before the color studies. Noticed she added a wooden boat to the left of the composition on her final illustration that was missing from the line drawing below, because she thought the habitants needed transportation to traverse across the swamp.

Seal will continue to do "gothic" series of the Peter Pan story. Please check back soon to see more. In the meantime, she hopes to see you at Handmade Hodown this Thursday. She will be showcasing this original painting of the Swamp Treehouse at the Monkey and Seal booth #41.

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