Art Monday: making of "Introducing Sara Chasm"

Yesterday saw the debut of ART Evolved: Life's Time Capsule, a new paleo-art blog with a whole crew of regular artists. When Craig Dylke approached me about it, I let out a heavy sigh. My commissioned work has been increasingly busy -for which I am continually excited- so could I really contribute to an ongoing group blog?

I just had to. Too exciting, and a lot of my favourite bloggers are present. Now, after the champagne has been smashed against the prow of our Ceratopsian Gallery, I couldn't be happier.

For my contribution, Introducing Sara Chasm, I knew I wanted to do some
thing a little left of scientific illustration. Okay, far off to the side.

I began by scribbling this sketch in my Moleskine on my walk
to work one morning.
It's important to carry around a small sketchbook for capturing tho
se ideas in the moment: when you wake up, when meeting a friend for coffee, after a shower or walking outdoors.

Using my trusty .3mm pencil, I made a more refined sketch. The photo reference is of a real person. I mulled over having Sara's t-shirt read ,"Canadian Grrls Rock", or maybe "Alberta girlz kick ass". Those also would have been good wall tags.For a while, Sara was going to be a hipster-photo-blogger of the kind that dwells on West Queen West here in Toronto, but the spray painted tag added a lot of colour. I drew that using my favourite india ink-brush pen, and erased all the pencilly-bits. A thick black pen (I use Faber-Castell's Pitt pens) like this can be great for quickly dropping in digital paint in Photoshop.I created the background using some rocks I scanned for texture, and embossed them to go with the light direction. With a digital hard brush I spattered paint in yellow-greens. Then, I added a medium-opacity white stucco to the wall.The oil painting. Completed in about 6 hours while listening to M.I.A., Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails and the new Lily Allen cd. I arrived at her name by thinking about Sara from ceratopsian, Chasm from chasmosaurus, and together they both sound a bit like sarcasm.After scanning the wet oil painting, there had to be a lot of clean-up. Using levels, I colour-corrected the blacks and whites. I tried to erase and blur the edges a bit to help it blend into the background.Finally, a bit of lighting to set the mood off. Click to enlarge the final product!
What do you think? I think Ms. Chasm looks a bit more 2-dimensional than originally intended, but the final product has a bit of an anime-feeling I don't see in my work. Will we see Sara Chasm again?

Make sure to check out the other images in the Art Evolved ceratopsian gallery, and leave comments!

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.

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