Thursday, November 18, 2010
I made the above painting two years ago. It's kind of a weird painting that combines Harry Potter with Benjamin Franklin's very famous "Join or Die" political cartoon.
I thought it was pretty funny, and I showed it in a few places for like 2 years but I don't think anyone really got it cause no one bought it, so I ended up just giving it to a friend.
But then, recently another friend asked about that painting, so I told them I'd remake it for them. I really do like re-making stuff, just cause after I finish something I always think about how I could have made what ever I just made better. The first time I made that image I pretty much just drew it out and then just inked in the line. It probably didn't take me more than 3 or 4 hours to finish.
This is how I redrew it. The only thing I really changed was moving the text around, and rewriting "Join or Die" to look like a font that would come out of a type set. And I looked up what a real snake's tail looks like instead of drawing it out of my ass.
I bought this funny pencil. It's from Faber-Castell. It's called a grip 2001, It's triangular going down and they have grip marks on it. It's also like $1.19 for just one pencil. The lead actually comes out alright, but it's pretty much acts like a Mirado Black Warrior (which is just 29c each/or $3 for a dozen), but the eraser is much nicer. So yeah, I guess it's worth $1.19. I don't know why I don't like lead pencils, but I drop my pencil a lot cause I never have a firm grip, so my lead always gets broken.
This is my painting after I put down all the colors that aren't black. It's a pretty simple palate, just greenish grey and white.
I've been using high viscosity paints. Lascaux's alright, and I use a lot of Liquitex. I used this color straight up for the inside of snakes, and then mixed white, with a drop of French blue grey for the snake's body in general.
I use a 3/4 flat watercolor wash brush to fill in my color.
The white I use is from the tube cause the high viscosity is a bit thin, so to get something really white on top of a dark surface would take a lot of layers. This just takes three.
I then drew in the scales of the snake. I was going to paint "Join or Die" in all black, but I then decided to paint the text white with a black outline.
The next step is to paint in my lines. I use Golden's High Viscosity Carbon Black. It's really smooth and it dries really fast. Since it dries so fast it means when I put it on my palate I just put a drop down little by little. Just cause it'll dry up and form a skin if you're using it for a while (a while being about 45 minutes to an hour).
I use a Kolinsky Sable Brush. It's suppose to be the nicest, but I've used synthetic/sable blends and they work just as fine. I get e-mails from kids asking me how my lines get so thin, and I don't really know how to answer that, other than to buy thin brushes and use Golden High Viscosity paints. But I did have chunky lines when I first started painting, and I think it took me about half a year until I noticed my line work getting smoother, so I think most people would just work that out if they just painted a bunch. But I think the high viscosity paint helps out cause you don't have to water anything down.
Also the high viscosity paint is kind of forgiving. If I fuck up with my lines, I'll let the paint dry and then take an exacto-knife and scratch out my mistake.
4 hours later, this is what the finished product looks like...
...until I realised I fucked up. I fact checked the original 13 colonies, and Vermont's not one of them. I left off Georgia. So I scratched out VT, remixed the background color, and put in GA. To be fair Benjamin Franklin left off GA, and grouped New England as a single entity, so my original drawing was based on that. I knew that Maine was part of Massachusetts, but then I just assumed Vermont was the last colony. But Ben Franklin also carved his out of a wooden block so I guess it's okay if he took a short cut.
And that's it.