Thursday, July 5, 2012

Experimenting with Different Styles

Every once in awhile, I look at the work I have done in the last 4 years and wonder if I have developed the style of drawing that it would seem everyone else has. What is a style in art work anyway? I always thought if you stick with a certain theme of drawing fans would know your work among hundreds of other pieces. So when I was looking at other artists, I saw them drawing the same character over and over again only in different settings and different clothes. Is that their style or have they hit a wall? Nevertheless, they are producing sales.Is that what art work is supposed to be about? i thought artist were supposed to be creative and drew what they are feeling or what they have seen. The expression is supposed to be revealed on canvas or is that what art use to be?

I have studied scores of research for different drawing techniques and what others are doing in their artistic endeavors. I was so fascinated with Manga style for awhile, I studied video tutorials, check out books from the library and even bought a few. It wasn't that I liked the original style of Manga but what other artists were doing with it. Personally the eyes are too big and glassy looking for me to incorporate into my work. I do like the shine that is used in the hair and the details in the folds and ruffles of the clothes. When I finally realized that Manga uses the fashion style of Lolita (both of which are Japanese), I had to also try my hand in my version of it.

I liked that they were only in black ink. It allows for the viewer to see more of the detail in the work. The pieces receive many views online and quite a few comments but the sales for these particular pieces aren't what I would like for them to be. Not only that, these four works took me so long to do, just to be compensated for the time in doing them, the cost for the originals would be high. No matter, I wasn't really looking to sell the originals anyway. My first attempt with Manga is the one with the fish and the bridge. It was also my first attempt with those kinds of curls, ruffles and the Lolita fashion. I was so pleased with that piece and at the same time relieved when I was finished with it.

This one at the dress shop, took the same amount of time to complete as the one above; nevertheless, I saw it on the white page before I drew it. This one also receive many comments and has been featured in a few art groups. The title of this is Decisions, Decisions. The title of the one at the top is Detention, then there is Pretty in Plaid and Sweet Lolita (fashion). I used line drawing for the shoes in Decisions, Decisions because I didn't wish to have most of the attention there, though I did not do the same when drawing the hats. Every once in awhile I stare at that and wonder if I should go back and redo the shoes. I suppose if it bothers me too much, I will. I have done it before with other pieces.

I was still fascinated with the Manga style and with my version of it. So I decided to incorporate it with Mehndi design just to see what would happen and add a little color in to boot. At first, I was a little apprehensive seeing that both design and style were strong enough by themselves so I did a little at a time to see if it would work and then took it to a level that surprised me.  When I drew this first one, I liked the affect of her being at the window. To incorporate the mehndi design, I used it in the curtains. The movement seemed to come along with creative process of the piece. I was also experimenting with the shine of the hair. This was not my best attempts with the shine and I knew I would have to do more studying on the matter. This one is called, There's A Chill.

I got a little more bold with the color and design in trying to complete a portion of the room but keeping the focus on the main characters. The colors were deliberate to catch the viewers attention and causes for the eye to move around the completed piece. If the design in the drapes didn't draw the eye down to the slight changed hue of the wall then the braids connect with the bear and the color of the window sill does it. This was also featured a number of times in art groups. It is entitled BFFs.

 The apprehension to venture out with this design subsided after BFFs. I was satisfied that I could incorporate the two styles and it would work. Once I completed Ruby, Tanzanite was easy. The others came one after the other and the time wasn't nearly as long as it was when I was just using black ink. 

I got the idea of calling these pieces the names of precious stones remembering a job I use to have in caring for at risk teen girls. The term used for them in the area that I was employed was, throw away kids. I was shocked at this term by colleagues that devoted their lives to empower children. I knew these children were eventually going to grow up and be the product of the person or thing that greatly influenced their lives. Believe it or not, these were going to be the ones that would make the decisions for the state of the world. These very ones should be considered diamonds in the rough. Only and expert would know what to do with such a stone. There is potential just waiting to be directed. With that in mind, I began a series of works and entitled the series, Precious Stones.

 Amber is wearing a dress I use to have when I was 6 years old. I drew her hair because it seemed like an American thing to do with that sort of dress. I was getting use to bringing the shine in the right direction as long as the gleam in the eye was there as well. I didn't know what to do with her as far as action was concerned so I referred to another piece I completed. It was the wrong way to go. As pleased as I am with the color of the background, her hair and dress, I think it was the catching of the butterflies that didn't appeal to the viewers.
 Amethyst came after I thought about a certain bride at her wedding. I was noticing all of the details she incorporated. From a small orchestra to the harpist playing a solo. I never looked at one playing a harp as much as I did this woman. Though I drew the figure with her legs crossed, a true harpist knows it would be impossible playing the instrument proficiently this way...but it looks nice. the shine and the curls were coming easier in this piece. The colors, I wouldn't normally put together, but when I did the name of the work was fitting.

By this time, I was in a stride to complete 12 pieces for a calendar. Garnet came when inspired by a photograph of a girl in gothic attire. I liked that she had so much hair and the doll was my own addition for dimension. While in the middle of completing the work, I noticed that I covered the arm that was supposed to be holding the doll. Though I could have scraped the whole thing or make the adjustment digitally, I liked the hair too much  to mess with it. Garnet received more views initially then all of them put together.
 I had the dickens of a time with this one. You see when uploading art work something happens in the transition. the colors start to look dull or over exposed. So I take the work to an online photoshop just to enhance the color for a better product. Sometimes getting the border straight is a part of that process. I usually do that in the paint application that comes on everybody's hard drive. It was the weirdest thing, once I finished all of the details, I noticed this black line that ran right through the entire piece. I didn't know how to get rid of it but to erase little by little not to destroy all of the work I just completed or start all over again. It took days before I just scraped it and started all over again. I needed for the work to look traditional and not digital. I was so pleased with this one in particular because of the shine in the hair along with the span of room the fly had to move in. I don't know if it was the position of her arm in shooing the fly away or keeping it modest with her pulling her shirt down, but the views or comments weren't as readily as I hoped. This one is called Chalcedony.

 Lapis was also a fav because she represented late Spring. I liked her foot up on the border and the blowing of the dandelion seeds. But like Chalcedony, she didn't do very well with views, comments, or features. I don't know why with as much studying as I did and looking at all of the works together, I was at a quandary. I thought it might be the hair but Amethyst was doing quite well. Then I thought it was the hat or the clothes, but Garnet was doing well also. I then thought that it was the site I was using and the viewers were just being temperamental, but these works are on 4 different art sites. After this series, I stopped trying to figure it out so I could get this niche once and for all and stop with all of the experimenting to find something that will work and be profitable for me. I started thinking of colors that appeal to people. Purple is a definite yes. When launching out to do Purple Topaz, I thought of Snow White and also children going back to school. This one took a few tries to complete. When finished, the views were satisfactory. The sales weren't.

When developing Walking Through Sunshine, I was feeling so happy and with how I imagined the way she would look. I liked the idea of the jeans and tied oxford shirt. It is what I would have liked to wear (though my parents would definitely had an issue with the shirt being tied to show my stomach) and have worn. It seems classic with a touch of youth in the country. I liked the design of the wheat and knew that I was venturing a little away from the original mehndi design, but still was pleased with the finished product. It took a couple of months before I relinguished in trying to get an assessment of what the public liked. This didn't come close. That was it for me. I liked it and that was all that mattered. I was finished trying to please the palette of people that will change at any given moment. I grew weary at trying to figure it out.

One of the last from the series to form the calendar is Peridot. I thought of the Michigan winters when I was a teen and standing for the bus to go to school. The winters in Michigan didn't care about the changes the of the calendar. When we hoped that March would bring a hint of gleam of the sun, the wind blew to let us know winter wasn't finished yet. it is why the flowers, butterflies and and all of the expectation of Spring was drawn in black ink. The colors were underneath waiting for the warmth to come. This did well in views and comments but by this time, I just didn't care anymore. I liked the style I developed incorporating the two and I am sticking with it no matter what the public seemingly likes today and gone tomorrow.

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