Hello everyone. I finished another piece late last year, using the same basic color palette as Harlequin Iris. As the name of this piece suggests, it’s reminiscent of the type of designs found painted on ceilings inside domes. You might not be able to tell, but the drawing is about a foot across, and the paper measures at 18″x 24″.
Step one to all my drawings is to pencil in the axes, then the basic structures. I use a compass and a straight edge for that. Then, I go over some of them in ink. It almost doesn’t matter which ones, as long as I am doing it consistently on each of the points or valleys. In this drawing, I wanted a lot of lines crossing at the same repeated angles, so parallel lines were important.
Getting the lines just right, taking your time, is important. It’s pretty easy to tell, visually, when your lines are off, so do them in pencil until you’re satisfied, then draw your ink line over the pencil line. You’d be surprised, but it actually takes me a few hours to get it to this point.
As you start committing more ink to the paper, things can get tricky. Deciding early on the style of the drawing you want and the elements to feature can be helpful. Here, you can see that I am starting to repeat the octagonal star inscribed inside. I’m also spacing the bold lines equidistant to give the appearance of parallel white lines.
Now, I decide on what kind of colors and textures I want. The creative possibilities are fun to play with. I like to go with a theme. Because I saw this piece as an evolution of Harlequin Iris (and somewhat of a series), I kept the same color palette ( black, brown, and a red-sepia). I also kept the textures the same, avoiding the pointillist shading techniques I usually use in favor of line shading.
Finally, as I decide on what parts to color or shade, I’ve got an eye on the black/white balance of the piece. It helps me to stand 15 feet away from the picture to see how [im]balanced it looks. This is something I wish I knew about when I started drawing because no matter how good the detailing looks, if the dark/light contrast isn’t good, it’s easily overlooked. Notice the difference, for example, between these next two pictures…
Here are a few angled and close up shots.
I hope you enjoy it. Happy new year, friends!