Friday, November 28, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

When I was a child I read the tale of a princess laid to slumber, to be awakened by a kiss. Now that I'm older, I know the magic to be true. Under the snow, the forest sleeps, waiting for the summer sun.

Image: 11" x 14" Strathmore 300 series bristol, watercolour, coloured pencil. Yet another salty wash. One pass, prussian blue, paynes gray, and some viridian sprinkled (literally) in. I think I used a toothbrush. Alcohol too (and, no, I don't mean I was sipping a martini). This is another tortured piece of bristol. Soaked, stretch, scraped (ps. if you try this at home, do not swipe with a cloth if you want a smooth finish) and, after laying down the wash, sandpaper, not kidding. After that, it was just a matter of remembering what I saw a few days ago and picking out the details with pencil crayon. This took much longer than I expected. Much time spent closing my eyes. Much time spent staring out the window, much time spent squinching up my eyes trying to figure out where the branches and trees should be, etc.. It was night, so no photo reference! It was one of those beautiful nights with thick heavy snow weighing down every horizontal surface that you want to remember forever.


Jennifer Rose said...

makes me feel cold :) I love snow
There are so many interesting textures here, the leaves on the trees, the ground areas, all great :D

krummholz said...

The color--it's really just one color--reminds me of advertisements for a perfume called "L'Heure Bleu" that I saw in fashion magazines when I was a girl. That idea of "the blue hour" has always stayed with me as a description of that wonderful time of the day.

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Jennifer, most of the texture was from the salty wash. It makes snow and frost all by itself.
I just wiki'd 'blue hour' and yes, the real scene that inspired this was exactly that time of day. I thought I only imagined the colours, but it was 6:00 pm in mid November. Blue hour/ L'Heure Bleu (original french term), dusk, and gloaming.

Chrissy said...

I love this one, it is beautiful. Amazing that you did it from memory, I am very impressed.

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Chrissy. Sometimes I find photo's get in the way of what I really saw & art is a more accurate reflection of the minds eye. Other times, if I have a fantastic photo, I feel no need to bother reproducing it by hand. But photo ref. certainly have uses to get the details right.

Michelle (artscapes) said...

This is really beautiful!!
I love that time of day too. I can see a mix of cobalt blue and cerulean to make the colour I saw last night.
I can see your imagination ran wild... And I know what you mean about the photograph. I have taken photos with the intent to paint them and then found they really did say everything and paint was simply not required. At one time I painted entirely without photos. I am inspired to look back on these!

kaslkaos said...

Thanks Michelle. I think drawing without reference trains your brain but it never (at least not for me) looks as slick as when one has a good reference on hand. I usually do it when I have no choice.


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