July Painting – VENTRESS

The Switch

I’ve made the switch to hot-press paper. Having conversations with other artists and looking at their process, it was time to switch over and give this paper a try. I think I’ll always prefer cold-press; the texture and depth of colours you can achieve is much more satisfactory, but alas the scanning results in my opinion are rarely so for displaying work online (especially for more illustrative pieces).

Stock piling and clutter in both art and life is not something I’m keen on. Something I’ve had to reconsider during this pandemic. Luckily I had enough supplies until shops opened up again, but what I didn’t have on hand was hot-press paper. A month back, the only shop that had any in stock here in Toronto was Deserres. 4-5 ‘misroutes’ with Canpar, emails & phone-calls back and forth with both companies, and I finally had my paper arrive in a bent cardboard box. …I don’t know if I was more surprised at having received my shipment at all, or that the paper had somehow survived with minimal damage. Yay to Canadian postal service. πŸ‘πŸ˜‘

Ventress, watercolours & acrylics on 11×15″ paper, 2020

New Vision for Ventress

I chose to test out Fabriano’s Artistico Hot-Press Watercolour Paper. I would suggest everyone do a little test run before starting a new piece, but seeing as I didn’t follow my own advice it seems a tad bit hypocritical to say so. πŸ˜… After success with this paper and seeing that it wasn’t a waste of money, I’m eager to try out Arches‘ (pricier) paper as well. I had little to no warp with this one, although I’m suspicious of my 3m masking tape playing a part as well. I don’t put down a lot of heavy wet washes either, so I can’t say what the result would be for those of you who like to do so. Again, do your tests!

I suppose it’s no surprise I’m doing another Star Wars related piece. With the last season of The Clone Wars finished and looking forward to both Season 2 of The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch, my head is constantly buzzing with ideas for artwork. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Dave Filoni to continue the stories of SW Rebels characters, and that of Ventress in future animated projects. I had hoped to see more of her life after serving the Sith and her new missions as a bounty hunter; even more interactions with Boba’s team perhaps.

Achieving some ‘glowy’ eyes with acrylic paints.

Keeping the bounty hunter theme in mind, I wanted to soften Asajj’s look by giving her hair again (drawing on the flashbacks of her lavender hair as a child), as well as changing her usual Sith attire to more of a civilian one. Taking liberties of course from the original art & design, I played around with additional Sith corruption marks and tried to include references to her Dathomirian heritage with things like beaded necklaces, and of course some elements of witchcraft & necromancy. This was a fun little side project to work on, although personally it’s always nerve-raking to mess around with original visions of any series.

Process.

3rd time’s a charm; various attempts of re-imagining Ventress.
The final drawing on tracing paper before adding some tidbits of embellishments.

When in Doubt, Back to the Sketchbook

If you’ve followed the progress of my latest painting (Sparks of Rebellion) on Instagram, I’d say you already know all about my displeasure of it. But let’s start with the positives shall we? I had (in my opinion) a rather successful sketch period following this meltdown. I needed to figure out what went wrong with my painting, and I would say some things became more clear. If nothing else, the prelim. work behind the painting was one of my more enjoyable ones.

What I had excitedly envisioned for the finished piece got ruined within the first few seconds of the initial wash due to…..a brush, that required more extractions of bristles off of paper than I’ve had to do. Lets say that brush shall not haunt mine or anyone else’s dreams ever again. As the painting started to develop I also began to notice more errors in terms of figure/ form, etc. Unnoticeable to the audience perhaps but as artists will know, GLARING for us. Frustrations piled on, this painting was beyond ‘fixing’ at a certain point. With a bit of help with some coloured-pencils it regained the status of being presentable. In conclusion, more discipline I’d say on checking my tools, testing colour comps. thoroughly, and most important of all, triple-checking line-work/under drawing. Mirrors and views from a distance are once again my best friends. πŸ˜†

Sparks of Rebellion, watercolours & coloured-pencils, 11×14″, 2020

WIP and planning stages: the parts that were the most fun for this piece.

Alexsandr Kallus: SW Rebels, graphite studies on sketchbook

The Mandalorian – Last Drawings of 2019

30.12.2019_Sketch

I hope you all have enjoyed The Mandalorian as much as I have; it has given me hope for the Star Wars franchise on the big screen. Although I’m not part of the fan-base that have felt rage at the new movies, I was rather disappointed at the failure to develop the characters & plot in the manner that The Force Awakens seemed to have initially been heading towards. I can be satisfied with The Mandalorian however, and continue to enjoy the animated series, games, and books that Star Wars creators do well.

Having had the benefit of growing up with 2 older brothers, I was never short of action and sci-fi/fantasy media growing up. The Star Wars trilogy was watched to death on VHS, and my generation of course enjoyed (and criticize today πŸ˜… ) the prequels when they came out around 2000s. Other than the unforgettable introduction of Darth Maul in the prequels, Ewan Mcgregor’s Obi-Wan really got me interested in the character and continues to be my favourite to this day. (Well ok…Obi-wan and a certain red-eyed, blue-skinned, art connoisseur πŸ˜†) Therefore, seeing director Deborah Chow behind 2 of my favourite episodes in The Mandalorian has gotten me very excited for the upcoming Obi-wan series which she’ll be behind. A really good sci-fi/fantasy show also means a longer wait for Season 2, which I shall now impatiently be waiting for.

28.11.2019_Sketchbook_Shaima
This is the Way, graphite on toned paper, sketchbook, 2019

05.12.2019_Sketch_Shaima
Want Some Soup?, graphite on toned paper, sketchbook, 2019

30.12.2019_Sketch_A Creed_Shaima
A Creed, graphite on toned paper, sketchbook, 2019

*Prints available here.