Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Experiment Concluded

Well, the more I looked at those hard edges, the more I didn't like them. I also discovered that the three layers of fixative prevented my colored pencils from fully grabbing the vellum. SO, I decided to stop and repeat the last two steps. This time I printed a sepia toned copy of my original scanned sketch on to the vellum. Very pleased with the results. Also, after looking at some firefly reference photos, I realized that they give off a yellowish-green glow; not an orange-yellow one. Duh! I've never seen one in person. Also, I didn't fix the printed side since my printer uses water-resistant archival inks. Made all the difference. The vellum received the colored pencils beautifully. After playing around with some colors, I realized that my original concept was way too day-lightish. I went with a much more moonlit look and prefer it, although it's not as vibrant.
So, with this experiment concluded....would I use it again? Not sure. While I do love the luminosity, that's achievable with other mediums. The one thing Sergio doesn't reveal in his article is what he uses on the final to back it. I imagine any solid white paper would work. The vellum alone is way too fragile. Of course, under Sergio's masterful hands, this technique produces distinctively glowing illustrations. I can't possibly expect to achieve the same results without his skills and experience.
I am most grateful to artists who are willing to share their process. People like James Gurney, Dan Dos Santos, Donato Giancola, and many others who open the door to their studios and their techniques probably underestimate their value to artist-wanna-be's like myself. It is so helpful. I think with one exception, every artist I've emailed has replied and generously imparted information to me. There are other lesser known artists I follow who post their works in progress and I always gain new knowledge watching them work. My hope is that this meager experiment has been helpful to someone out there. I know I've learned alot. Thanks Sergio!


tlc illustration said...

This was great to see. Thanks for posting the process. I did see a few pieces (mostly b&w) on Sergio's site where working on the front and back made total sense to do. I'm still not sure I understand it for color -other than you are preserving hard, clean lines?

Rebecca Bush said...

I think it turned out quite well for a first outing with a new technique. The soft pencil-y edges are quite beautiful. They enhance the atmospheric quality of the vellum. I hope that you do some more work in this medium in the future- it's very charming.