Thursday, November 18, 2010

Slytherin Revised

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.


Junkyard Sam said...

This is an awesome entry! Real inspiring, all this organic art wizardry -- and funny hearing the history of that piece & the errors in the new one. lol

I hate that I'm addicted to digital. If I had to do my life over I'd be a programmer professionally instead of artist --- and do "real" painting on the side.

I hate digital! (I say this as I get back to work. Digitally.)

Juan Pez said...

great job man! :D

Anna M. said...

yay! Did you go see the movie yet? I loved it. I know not everyone did. I love this painting too!

Deth said...

Anna! We haven't seen the movie yet. We have to wait till Amanda catches and then we're going to see it (she's on Order of the Phoenix).

Tamara =D said...

Wow! That's awesome. I love how you wrote out the whole process. Your blog is super inspiring. =)

Fresca said...

It's effing brilliant! I'm working on a project about the history of communications and was just putting together a little graphic overview---looking for Ben F's cartoon, I came across this. So funny! So smart!
THANKS! I nabbed it for my post (linked to you, of course).

Fresca said...

P.S. I have a Moomin too. Mine walks!