Often when creating an illustration, planning is always a good idea, especially when you have a client to please. That means at minimum creating detailed thumbnails, a detailed drawing, and a color rough for the client’s approval. This also lets the artist play around with things fast and easy to find exactly what he wants the art to look like. When left to my own devices (as I am for this project), I sometimes throw caution to the wind by not doing all that prep work in advance.
I’ll always start with a thumbnail as I showed you in Part 1 of these Wild Thing posts, but I bypassed the whole color rough stage. I opted instead to wing it color-wise. There’s something inherently dangerous about this approach. Perhaps it makes me feel a little more artistic by playing things more spontaneously in the moment. It’s just a little wild – kind of like my subject matter.
So, I say that because as I choose my colors for this piece, I only have two things to go on: 1. Maurice Sendak’s colors from his original book, and 2. the image lodged in my head (which often looks grander and more lush than can ever be possible here in real life). I know my colors are going to be a little more bold than the original Where the Wild Things Are. Mr. Sendak’s palette was a little subdued which worked really great for his story. I want mine to pop a little more, but even I don’t subscribe to the bright primary colors. They’ll still be a bit tamed. So, I’m off to find that balance.
Enough pontificating. On with the art!
Compared to the last image I posted in Part 4 of these progression reports, you can see that the above painting has entered the realm of color for the characters. The monster now has some skin tone on his face, and a base color applied to his torso. You can see that the purple underpainting is holding nicely for the shadows of his face. They will be accentuated a bit more later on in the colored pencil stage. This is when it starts getting exciting for me as things are just now coming to life.
In the image directly below, you can see that now the mane of the Wild Thing has been painted in with tones of blue and brown. Yes, it did cover a bit of the purple underpainting, but you still can see hints of purple poking through.
Also, I felt the light shade I laid in on the torso in the top image was too light. So, here I added a darker yellow/orange tone. This did cover the purple too much, so the purple was darkened a bit. He is a striped beast, so later a series of orange stripes will be added.
Now that I look at these base colors, that background does seem a little too brilliant. I may have to tone it down a bit so that it is more complimentary and less competitive with the foreground figures.
Come back tomorrow for Part 6 which will be my final progression report before the unveiling of the final painting on TerribleYellowEyes.com on Friday.