Twelfth night

(or the melodrama if the artist who forgot how traditional art works).

So, after working digitally for a very long time, and longing to get back to oil pastels, I finally got the chance. And everything exploded in my face. Metaphorically.

I started with the digital sketches – my idea was to create symmetrical composition, with an emphasis on the relationship between the characters. Shakespeare’s play is the story of twins and mistakes identities – so, to my wannabe director eyes, the only genuine relationship is between Viola and her brother Sebastian – cause they are the only ones who know the full truth. The rest (Orsino and Olivia) fall in love with an elaborate act, rather than with real people.

And I kept going with the digital sketches, not quite feeling it. ”Almost right” was the phrase. The plan was to have a finished, elaborate sketch and then transcribe it to the cardboard. And I know that is how people do it, cause I have seen Rebecca Dautremer work. Anyway, I have discovered this method doesn’t really work for me. In the process of tracing and retracing my steps, I managed to kill all joy and the composition too.

Above you have the first batch of illustrations, 20×30 cm size. They are… not bad. I was quite pleased with the first one, vaguely disliked the second and hated the third. Also, I used oil paint on top of oil pastels for the white, still not sure it was a good decision – it gave me greater control, but it also ruined the texture.

And then I… went ahead and remade the illustrations, this time on 30×40 cm, all the time feeling like an old timey painter – behold, version 5, study in red. Fixed the composition. Adjusted the materials. Adjusted the colors. Yes, yes, I am happy now. Totally not contemplating doing them a third time. That would be madness.

I’ll leave you with a gif of my pain and misery. Make no mistake, I wail and wail for dramatic effect. I am secretly quite proud of the whole process.