Wednesday 10 September 2014

A Quarter Past One On Platform Ten Pt .2

For the first part of this post click here.

After working out a basic, almost abstract, composition for the passengers and laying that on top of the station rough, it was time to work on each character individually. I had the intention of re-using characters from previous paintings and also introducing some that would then feature in their own personal painting. However I had no definite ideas so as usual I just started to draw in the hope something satisfactory would appear.
The full pencil rough
I'd better make clear that in order to produce the final pencil rough I printed out the initial rough at a larger size and then transferred that image onto a fresh piece of cartridge. I knew it would be a lot of work but you can't create a large painting like this on dodgy foundations (that's a favourite saying in my house).

Once I had the characters fleshed out I then put the image into Photoshop and had a play with the tonal values.
Photoshopped (is that a word?) tonal study
With the tonal study I tried to expand the tonal range on the characters and reduce the levels on the train in the hope the characters would be brought forward. This was all well and good until I realised I needed to darken the background roof to accentuate the light train in front. So now my tonal order was (front to back) dark/light medium/medium. I wasn't too confident in making the difference between all three of these tones clear in the final painting but decided (as you will see) to use a blurring effect on the roof to make sure it receded and a light glaze of white gouache on the train to bring the characters forward.
Tonal Study Detail: The badger, signing an autograph, happens to be the famous opera singer Madame Albani from a previous painting. In the background you can see an otter soldier holding his child - a reference to William Powell Frith.
Who knew the fox was a black market salesman. You might recognise the hedgehog too.
I sent this rough to my client, Olivier Souille, and he asked me to revise the bottom left section (see below)
Detail of the section in need of revision.
Olivier thought it looked clunky (my word, not his) and I agreed with his observation. I think I was so desperate to add the barrel, box, bench etc that I lost interest with the characters and how they interacted with whole image.

Before I heard from Olivier I had already sized up and transferred to rough onto stretched watercolour paper so I had to rework the area on a piece of tracing paper until I was happy and only then could it be added to the final pencil drawing.
Final Pencil Detail On Watercolour Paper: You can see I removed the bench and station paraphernalia and added more porter mice, a stoat and two young foxes. (Sorry about the poor picture quality, from here on the rest of the shots were taken with a camera phone )
The final pencil drawing ready to be painted

Detail: That little chap is awestruck.

1 comment:

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Hi Chris,
I am just in awe of all the details.. Love you art. Looking forward to seeing the completion.