Monday 17 October 2011

The Elephant & Castle

I have recently completed an unusual commission - artwork for a musical theatre poster. So far in my short career this type of thing hasn't been requested of me so I went into this all guns blazing which possibly explains why I became too excited and stretched an enormous piece of paper to work on. A week into the final painting and I was flagging. Apart from jumping between another project and this one, it was taking an age to get the rich dark tones I was after. When you have a deadline looming and watercolour is your choice of medium this can sometimes be a problem so any normal person would work smaller but not me, I like to make things difficult for myself it seems.

So after grumbling and losing sleep I decided to scan the unfinished painting and drop it into Photoshop for a bit of computer wizardry. I quickly had multiple layers of rich dark colours zapping from my wacom tablet. Something that would have taken days in watercolour was digitally knocked up in an afternoon thus saving me time and helping me reach the slightly (by then) extended deadline.

What have I learned? Plan painting timescales based on the size AND content of the projected artwork. It makes sense that large scale works which contain loose details or light pastel colours are generally less time consuming than those with rivers of dark hues and mountains of details. Also another lesson to keep in mind is Photoshop shop can cover up a multitude of sins, great for illustration, not so great for original art exhibitions.

Rant over, I'm still best friends with my watercolours but now more aware of my limitations when using them.

Regarding the musical, hopefully it will be on stage next year in London. When I get hold of dates I will post them up for all to see!

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