Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

Here's the latest in the fable series and OH what a challenge this one turned out to be.

The idea, composition, and the line drawing all came easy enough - it was the colors and the texture that put up a fight.

I started by preparing two pieces of paper. One was hand painted green for the grass. The other was a brown-grey mix for the wolf. Both papers looked good on their own but it became clear that I couldn't use them together because it would have been too much going on. In the end, I used neither. The wolf colors weren't working - it was kinda like taking the easy way out. This wolf wanted to be built as an actual collage. It wanted ripped grey papers and layers of transparent white rice papers. It wanted black ink on the paws. It wanted to be the centerpiece and there were no shortcuts for me. There were lots of experiments with this wolf.

Then the green just wasn't right. I put in a tree. That wasn't right. I added a bush and some grass. The grass I liked but the bush had to go. The floor of my studio was a complete mess for three days because I just couldn't find the right balance between the blues for the sky and the greens for the grass. Finally I pulled out the green that I used above - it has specks of white in it that I thought made the grass look soft and friendly. I painted a blue sky and popped the sheep in - (they were relatively easy on me - good little sheepies) but it still wasn't done.

I added in the yellow flowers and that helped too, but I needed the bow on the present, the cherry on the sundae, the words "the end" on the final page of a book. So I gave the wolf a red flower dangling from his mouth. It mimics the sheep eating grass, it hints at his bloodlust, and it gives a little POP of color that draws your eyes to the wolf's face.

Now it feels done.


ang said...

I must say I love the wolf and that "sneak-thief" look on his face. Poor little clueless sheep . . . .

Julie_c said...

Ah - but do you remember what happens to the wolf? The shepherd gathers him in with the rest of the sheep and encloses him for the night. Then the shepherd comes back to get some meat for dinner and kills the wolf, thinking it is a sheep.
Moral: He who seeks to harm, harm will find.

ang said...

I completely forgot that! The closest I am to remebering wolf fables is the Wil E. Coyote cartoons and he was a coyote-which I suppose is kind of related. But I do love that wolf - pain that he was.