Dead Man’s Hand – The Artist’s Studio

Paid a visit yesterday to assiduous artist SB at her studio. She.s flying back to Brazil next week so that means that the Dead Man’s Hand cover illustration is going to be done real soon! Not only can she paint, she.s also a damn fine cook! Also there to enjoy her Melanzane alla parmiggiana (fried eggplants layered with meat and tomato sauce, basil, cheese, and on top a crust made with eggs and more cheese) was cameraman extraordinaire MR (who took care of photo shoot duties at the Cenote Lounge) and their significant others, R and M. It was fun to watch the artist showing off her creation and listening to everyone.s feedback.

Dead Man’s Hand Status

The last blog on the status of the cover illustration was last week. At that stage, all the individual sketches had been approved as well as the global layout for where everyone was going to be situated. Actually, the gambler on the left didn.t quite fit. He had originally been cast as the ‘cool gambler but as the picture progressed, it seemed better if all the characters exhibited a degree of surprise to maintain the unity of the theme (i.e. the unexpected). Since all the models sitting in that position had been playing the ‘cool’ role, this means that we had to find an unsuspecting model from the internet to fill the role on a last second basis. Also (since some of us are cigar aficionados) the decision was made to place an ashtray by the dead man’s hand poker combination to draw attention to it with a wispy trail of smoke.

In chronological sequence, here.s how things shaped up in the last week.

Dead Man's Hand - Outline

Dead Man’s Hand – Outline

The Photoshop image was printed out in a line format (outline mode) onto a full scale reproduction. From there, SB placed it on top of the watercolour paper with a carbon sheet in between and traced it out. Eagle-eyed readers might be able to see the outline of the characters on the carbon sheet:

Dead Man's Hand - Carbon

Dead Man’s Hand – Carbon

And really assiduous readers will be able to tell that some stuff moved around after the carbon transfer as well!–the table, Lucy (the husky), and the door have all moved to the left. Compare it with the photos below. This was done to increase the sense of perceived space and line up the poker hand I.m holding with the door.

Here.s the finished outline on the watercolour paper:

Dead Man's Hand - Outline

Dead Man’s Hand – Outline

Next comes colour!–

Dead Man's Hand - Colour

Dead Man’s Hand – Colour

What comes after that? If you said ‘more colour’ you win!–

Dead Man's Hand - More Colour

Dead Man’s Hand – More Colour

This pretty much is where the drawing was as of yesterday. Have you ever wondered how an artist.s studio looks while they.re working away?

SB.s Studio

SB.s Studio

When I got there, she had some incense lit at her workstation. Light is natural from the south facing window. It.s hard to see from the photographs, but the painting is a good size and the size looks impressive in person. You can get an idea of the size from the scale of the chair or the coffee cup, but it doesn.t do justice to actually seeing it.

Here.s the artist.s apparatus:

Watercolours

Watercolours

What.s next, you ask? The eyes aren.t put on yet. This gives the characters that timeless look of Grecian statues, which is sort of cool as well, though!

I hoped you.ve enjoyed what is probably the second (or maybe third)  to last blog on the Dead Man’s Hand cover illustration (things always go on longer than anticipated: I used to be an estimator for a construction firm in a past life). Meeting up for a celebratory dinner at my place next Sunday to wish SB and R a safe trip to Brazil and to wrap the project up. Thanks for tuning in, I hope you.ve enjoyed seeing the painting coming together as much as I have!

Until next time, I.m Edwin Wong and I should get cracking at Doing Melpomene’s Work if the cover illustration is almost complete!

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