Taratories Blog

Stages of "Into the Deep Blue"

I just recently had someone commission me to do a piece of art for them.  This piece was so fun to do because she let me have complete creative freedom and let the piece be a total surprise to her!  I was able to choose the size, medium, and subject matter and just go to town! I have never been given the chance to do something like this and, being that it was such a great experience,  I hope I have the chance to do something like this again!  I thought it would be interesting for people to see the stages that "Into the Deep Blue" went through.  I worked with a mixed media technique using inks and colored pencils to create a really atmospheric painting/drawing.  

This piece was 3X2ft, so due to the size, I created a grid on the canvas to help with the initial placement of my sketch.  After that I began drawing a few simple shapes that would be the focal points of my piece, i.e., the coral and fish.  Then I shaded all the areas that would be medium to dark in value to create a tonal background for me to layer on top of.  

After that first layer of neutral pencil, I went on with colors to start forming the subjects.  It is still a faint looking layer, but I hadn't added any inks yet.  The piece was already starting to take shape during this step though which was exciting.  The shapes were very abstract at the beginning which made it more challenging for me because I tend to work more realistically and precisely.  Letting go a little bit and just letting the scene be a little more ambiguous at this stage was a really good exercise for me.

This is the scary part... adding the layers of ink onto the drawing that was just done.  By adding the inks, the fish were already starting to pop and the abstract shapes were already looking less abstract.  I just love seeing the shapes morph as each layer is applied.  

Here is where I started to add some detail along the way which really made the coral and fish pop!  It is so hard for me to be patient up to this point because details are like the cherry on the top... the really fun part.  I probably rushed a little to get to the detail, as you can see, because the ink washes weren't even done yet, but I just couldn't wait!

Its all about the little details.  The highlights around the holes in the coral...

The scales on the fish...

Here is the finished product which I am really happy with!  I added a lot more blue ink and pencil to the background which helped give the piece more depth.  There were many, many layers of pencil and ink that made this piece what it is, but that is what makes the piece interesting to me.  I have always loved working in layers, compared to working in a more flat manor.  I love the depth that the layers bring.  I think my personality goes along with the way I like to do art.  I love dreaming of what's next, seeing the beauty of life unfold, and I love the journey!! 

Here are a few words from the person that commissioned me to do this piece...