This morning, I put the finishing touches on “Shadow-Bride.” Here’s the finished pieces, ready to go to the print shop this afternoon:
My pen began working again close to noon yesterday, at which point I finished the drawing. I’m happy to say that the faces on the second version made all the hassle of restarting quite worth the effort; they were much closer to what I’d originally envisioned and sketched. In fact, once those faces were there, I knew that the rest of the project would turn out nicely.
Well, as long as the watercolor worked.
Watercolor is an unpredictable medium anyway, and illustration board isn’t designed for it. On watercolor paper, you at least have a chance of managing a wash without getting funny waterspots and hard edges. Make that one chance in twenty using illustration board.
Why in the world do I use it, then? Because it works so well for the calligraphy and ink work. The joys of using mixed media!
Actually, I like a good challenge. So, doing my first all-out watercolor painting (not just decorated borders) on illustration board was a challenge I gladly accepted. I put on some intense music and began focusing very hard. About 9 pm I decided I was done, and realized that I was exhausted and had a headache… but it was worth it. I was deeply satisfied. The lighting was what I had wanted, the shadows were working, and the faces were perfect. This morning, I took some careful looks at it and decided to touch up the shadows to make them a bit more precise. Now it’s really done.
I’m not expecting to sell a lot of these. After all, so far I’ve only met one other person who knew exactly which poem I was talking about. I should probably do something really well-known next. I’m thinking Thorin’s quote from The Hobbit about valuing food and cheer and song above hoarded gold. People have requested it.
But for now, I look at this picture I’ve been wanting to paint for four or more years, and I am deeply happy.