Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Smothered In Paint


Working on this illustration drove me a little crazy. There were sections I painted that I loved, but they didn’t work with the rest of the painting. In painting it’s not at all like what happens in writing when you are forced to “kill your darlings”.

In a piece of writing, if you need to cut out a line here or a passage there, you can save those gems in a file and hope to use them later. This happened to me recently with a picture book manuscript I was working on. I had one line that I thought was pretty clever but deep down knew it was wrong for the story. I liked it so much I kept trying to rework the rest of the story around it just to save it. I finally gave up and filed it away, only to realize it might be perfect for another project I have in mind.


That doesn’t happen with a painting. When something’s not working, I just have to kiss those little brushstrokes goodbye and slap another coat of paint right over them - and hope I learn something in the process.

11 comments:

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Kind of like writing--just hit delete, right? I do save whole sections that need deleting, though. For future use?

C.R. Evers said...

Well, whatever you did sure seemed to do the trick. The pictures is sweet and gorgeous, all rolled into one! I love it. It's full of feeling.

Christy

Suzie said...

I didnt know you were doing those pictures. Im crazy right? You do such great work!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Ouch! That must hurt!
But your finished illustrations are beauties, so something must be working!

Brenda said...

what a great illustration...You are so talented...hugs...

Rena said...

I love your illustrations, Adrienne. What part of this one gave you trouble?

adrienne said...

Thanks for the nice comments, everyone.

And Suzie, LOL! I don't think you're crazy - just a busy mom.

Rena - The tree was the wrong color, but I liked the way I had painted the limbs at first. I ended up repainting the whole thing.

Carrie Harris said...

Yep, it may have been hard, but the finished product is FABULOUS. Will you give me painting lessons? :)

sruble said...

"In painting it’s not at all like what happens in writing when you are forced to “kill your darlings”."

That is SO true!

"When something’s not working, I just have to kiss those little brushstrokes goodbye and slap another coat of paint right over them - and hope I learn something in the process."
Also true, unless you try to make the story fit that one part of that illustration, not that I'd ever do that.

I really like the image you posted today, even if it did give you problems! (BTW, acrylic?)

adrienne said...

Sruble - I confess when I've revised a story after making a dummy, I've tried to make it fit the original sketches - but it doesn't work!
Yes, this one is acrylic. I also like gouache, but to me it's a little less forviging.

sruble said...

I know what you mean about gouache. I've tried several times to work with gouache, and while I like some aspects of it, there are just too many problems. If I spent a lot of time with it, I'm sure I could figure it out, but since I have other options ...