In yesterday’s post about the creation of this Where the Wild Things Are inspired piece, I mentioned that once I laid in some colors on the beast, those background leaves seemed to be a bit competitive with the characters. The green color is just too bright. Those leaves need to support the characters, not distract from them. So, my new task is a road I didn’t want to go down. Yes, I’m talking about Frisket.
Why don’t I want to go down this road? The potential to mar the painting is great. Let me explain. Frisket is a fairly transparent plastic film with a gentle adhesive on one side. You stick some down on your artwork (it doesn’t hurt the art) so that the whole piece is covered. Then comes the tricky part – with a brand new Xacto blade, you gently cut holes exposing only parts of the painting while protecting the rest. If you cut too hard, you can have deep grooves in the paper that will be hard to disguise with a medium that paints transparently like watercolor.
Why would I do this? Because paint was about to fly. I cut away the leaf areas exposing them. With my handy dandy airbrush that doesn’t get out much anymore (I used to do LOTS of airbrush art), I mixed a cool blue-ish green tone to spray evenly over the leaves to soften them up a bit. Then I took a light purple and spritzed it all over the leaves with a toothbrush.
You can see that the effect made a difference! The leaves are now “pushed back” a bit in space, even though we’re talking about a two dimensional medium. Since I had the Frisket out, I recovered the leaves with the pieces I had pulled away, and this time exposed the face keeping only the eyes, nose and teeth covered. The toothbrush thing is just too much fun. It’s as much Jackson Pollack as I allow myself to be. I flicked pink, yellow ochre, and purple onto the skin for a little fun texture.
Now, somewhere in there I added color to Max, and painted in the stripes on Wild Thing. The lighter area of the fur on top of the arms was achieved by painting with just plain ol’ water and dabbing up the paint with a paper towel.
With watercolor paint, the removal of paint can be very effective in molding your subject matter. As you can see below, I employed this method again with pulling out some highlights in the monster’s mane.
Well, that’s it for my painting explanation here in Part 6. Come back this afternoon when I’ll do a quick post in Part 7 about the colored penciling of this illustration. Just one more short tease before the grand unveiling of the finished piece tomorrow on TerribleYellowEyes.com.