On Comics and Coming Full Circle.

Comic-style Landscape 3, Sept. 16, 2014Comic-style Landscape 2, Sept. 16, 2014Comic-style Landscape 1, Sept. 16, 2014

Ah, finally a good studio day! And I didn’t even get the paints out. Instead, I put my touchscreen laptop to good use and figured out how to use my Freshpaint program to digitally paint onto existing watercolours, just adding some comic-style outlining to them. I hadn’t been as happy with how finicky using a real brush to outline onto the paintings was, and I have been meaning to try out digital painting for a while.

I love how versatile doing the outlining on the computer is–I can un-do brushstrokes or colours, and I can do multiple versions from a single painting until I get what I want. I even have a “digital” paintbrush that I got specifically for touchscreens. I don’t know if it is much different from using a real paintbrush on the touchscreen (if that even works, I’ll admit I have not tried it), but the brush was on sale so I thought I would try it.

At first I thought that my interest in doing these comic-style watercolours had come from reading a lot more comics since we opened up our comic store, but the other day my husband pointed out that I was doing this back in University. How would I forget that? Maybe because it was met with disapproval at the time–I was doing acrylic portraits and then drawing back onto them and outlining with charcoal. I was told that drawing did not belong in a painting course, and I nearly failed the course because of it–and would have had it not been for the other instructors who defended me. Blah, I get stressed just thinking about it. It is interesting that 10 years later I am back to doing something similar, maybe I am finally continuing on with what I had actually started back then.

Even so, I have definitely been inspired by comic books. One of my biggest “Aha” moments came when I was reading about how the Saga series is illustrated by Fiona Staples. She does it all digitally and in layers and she is phenomenal. I tried to meet her at the Calgary Comic Expo this year, but the wait was so long; then I became too self-conscious about what I would say to her when I finally got there, so I chickened out. At the time I was also cos-playing as one of the main characters from Saga (Alana) which was only making me more nervous. Oh well, maybe next time I’ll catch her.

A Perfect Day Part Two.

This image is from the same day as last weeks painting. I was envisioning it as the second page (or first page) to go with that one. It’s interesting that this week I was doing all the collages with thinner borders and I think I might prefer that, so I redid the one from last week with a thinner border (see below). I am still having trouble narrowing down which I think is the best collage — I think adding text to the images would help to rule some of them out…or maybe it would just mean that I would have double the possibilities for layout options that I have now…

Here is three other versions that I like, as well as the original painting.

A Perfect Day.

This was at the opening reception for an art show I was in. It was a gorgeous summer day and my daughter was just running and running through fields having the time of her life.

I am more and more seeing the collages of these watercolours as page layouts and stories. For this one I moved into making collages that look more like two page spreads in a graphic novel, and I was thinking about things like where the text would go, if I had text for it. It would be neat to work on each painting as if it were a complete page — as it is they don’t feel quite done yet. I made too many collages of this one and had to pull my husband in for feedback. These are his four top picks:

I am spending a lot of time in my studio lately working, thinking, playing…as it should be :)

Oh the Possibilities are endless! But a Woman’s Got to Sleep!

Back to the backyard — a now very well documented view — where we finally have beautiful fall colours! While I was painting this one a storm came up and there aren’t nearly as many leaves on the trees now so I am very glad I chose to paint the yard when I did. After uploading the photo of this one I started playing around with cropping. I think I spent three times as long playing with it as I did painting it. Here is a few of my favourite crops :)

Once again I was thinking about comics and how much room there is to play with the images and cropping and layout… it is endless! I have a whole folder on my desk top right now just with images from this painting. And then I got into making the crops into photo collages (like the one below) and now my head is spinning with all the things I could do! But I am exhausted so that is all for now :)

SHAZZAM! Comic Book Scotch!

Thought I’d try a watercolour still life in the same comic book style as my self-portrait from last week. I did it the same way with a pencil and sharpie sketch first which I then lightly traced onto watercolour paper. Then I did the watercolour layer and the final outline in with a fine brush and black watercolour. I think the variance in line weight was better in the portrait, but I guess that would be something to work on.

KAPOW! Comic Book Dayna!

I’m reading a lot of comics lately. Decided to try something comic-bookish with my watercolour this week. It seems like a natural progression. For this I first did a sketch of myself in the mirror and outlined it with a sharpie. Then because it was on such thick sketchbook paper I decided to scan it and do a printout of it so I could trace it lightly onto watercolour paper. Then I did the watercolour of myself, in the mirror again, and lastly I outlined it with black watercolour paint and a very fine brush. It was fun. The eyes aren’t quite right–to look like me that is, they do look very comic bookish. And for some reason I always get the bottom half of my face right but not the top, so there the bottom half is me, the top half not so much. But all together it’s a nice comic book style Dayna :)