I can already tell…

This one is going to take a while.  I actually erased all of the original rough-out I did and started over.  If you compare the two you’ll notice that the scale is all wrong and the figures were much to large in the frame.  I started in with some detail on the hat of the man on the right side to try to figure out how I was going to handle this piece.  After some experimentation, I think I have found a way to tackle this one.  What you can’t see from a picture like this on my phone is all the little hatching and detail work.  Maybe I’ll snap a pic just to show how it looks up close.  From the distance I am taking these phone photos, the eye is already doing a lot of the blending for me.

The Walrus was Paul

One of my favorite painters, if not number 1 on the list, is Paul Cezanne.  I think his work is absolutely incredible.  There are other artists of the period who are more well known for one reason or another but I’d put Cezanne up against any of them.  I honestly think that the subject matter of his paintings might be why he hasn’t found his way into pop culture like a Van Gogh or Monet.  He did tons of paintings of landscapes and the same mountain.  However, because of that it is really easy to see his evolution as an artist over the years.  I love seeing his paintings up close.  He constructs whole works out of patches of color and you can totally see why he is credited with being one of the fathers of cubism.  His color harmony is unrivaled.  The moment I got the idea to do the art board works I wanted to do a Cezanne but frankly didn’t know which one to do.  I think I’ve found one to try, ‘The Card Players.’  It’s very brushy and loose and should be interesting to try to puzzle out.  Here’s the beginning, the rough-out stage.

Zooming along

Gotta love action lines.  In a piece like this they add that extra ‘umph’ so I saved them for last.  I’m going to call this one finished and move on to the next one.  Despite the simple color scheme and bold line art this one was a lot more challenging than I had envisioned but fun nonetheless.  How can you not like Lichtenstein?  His call to art came as a challenge from his son to paint as good as his Mickey Mouse comic.  Brilliant.

This is the first time I have finished one of these without knowing what I would go into right after it.  I have a few I am considering but I’m waiting for one to jump out at me.  I’ll come back to color eventually but I’m pretty sure the next one is back to black.  At the beginning I sought out art that I thought would translate well to the dry erase board but now I might just pick a piece I like and see if I can pull it off.  The Hopper was one I wasn’t exactly sure how I would execute and that is what made it so fun.   Onward to Google Images.

Eureka!

My yellow marker finally arrived so now I can set about finishing this thing.  Most of the right-hand side is done.  The yellow and black combo in the woman’s hair and coat is a challenge but, as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.  It’s just too messy to trying and finesse yellow around a lot of black so I went back in, erased, and cleaned that area out.  The idea was to block in all the yellow first and figure out a way to handle the black later.  The solution is the newest weapon in my dry erase arsenal, the pencil.  More specifically, it’s the eraser I’m after.  I actually used it on the Hokusai to make the dots.  It’s perfect for going in and removing color with some detail.  That allowed me to go back and remove the yellow so I could put down black directly on the board.  I think it is working out well.  That was the missing link for this piece, trying to figure out how to make that yellow work without turning the whole thing into a complete mess.

Primarily yours…

I am really glad my first try on a color piece uses straight primary colors.  The color forces me to plan things out a lot differently than I had been doing them on past works.  The second one of those markers touches black it’s not the same after that.  On the flip side, if you use black and draw over one of the colors, the black tends to have a tint.  The moral of the story is keep them as separated as possible and be sure of your line art before you go in with color.  This particular work has also really made me appreciate the versatility of the chisel-tip marker.  I’ll keep the smaller tipped ones around for special occasions but the chisel-tips really work for me.  I also realized that I don’t have a yellow chisel-tip so that is something I’ll have to remedy if I want things to look consistent.  Guess that means I’ll be focusing more on the right side for now until I get that marker.  I can still go in and sort of finalize the woman’s face but her hair and coat are yellow-dominated so that will have to wait.

Four-color storytelling is art, too.

I’m a big comic book fan.  It has been cool to see how comic book art has slowly started being considered ‘real art.’  A good original art page from one of the masters like Jack Kirby will fetch tens of thousands of dollars.  A comic book is a nice blend of writing and artwork.  The artist, however, is pulling double duty as a storyteller.  Putting together an effective comic page is more than just seeing how much detail you can cram into the panels.  Often, simpler is better.  Less detail can be more effective in getting your point across.  You have a story to tell but you also have to do it in a natural way, moving and manipulating the viewer’s eye around the page in a fluid manner.  It’s a lot to juggle and they have to do it over at least 22 pages, most of the time on a monthly schedule.  One of the reasons I was drawn to this particular Lichtenstein piece was that it was pop art that evoked that old-school four-color comic style.  As you can see below, the red marks the first color I have used in one of these and I’m already seeing how problematic the colors can be.  The board would need to be totally spotless or the color markers will take on some of the leftover black from something previously erased.  I also thought that having some very fine tipped markers would be a big help but the chisel tip is extremely versatile and can do most anything you’d want.