Friday, September 14, 2012

Gnome Studies 1

I mentioned last time that soon I would share some of the pieces that I painted in preparation of the upcoming exhibit at my Alma Mater, Carson-Newman College. How about I share some photos of some art with you now?  As some of you may have gathered from comments on my twitter, I decided to exhibit some brand new paintings especially made for the show. I did the obvious thing to do when making new pieces for a group exhibit. I began planning paintings featuring GNOMES!

As I started thumbnail sketches and roughing out ideas, I realized I needed to decide what approach I wanted to use for the paintings. I sought out inspiration from a variety of artists including Jean-Baptiste Monge, Man Arenas, James Gurney, Norman Rockwell, and many others. But most of all, I studied the work of the Master Gnome Illustrator, Rien Poortvliet. Poortvliet is most famous for he and Will Huygen's classic book Gnomes (which I now happily own!) Though these artists and illustrators have very different styles and approaches to portraying fantasy, figures, and nature, I found that they all have a similar spirit in their work which was what I was wanting to emulate the most. 

After lots of sketching, it was finally time for me to do some "Gnome Studies." I wanted to begin painting little vignette practice images of the gnomes in watercolor to figure them out better. This also gave me a chance to practice watercolor painting again (I had gotten a little rusty doing mostly ink and digital work for a while.) What better to start with than a gnome mother and her gnome baby? :)

Then I got the idea of a gnome fellow riding the back of a wild hare!

 Here are the two gnome studies together:

I hope you guys enjoyed looking at these little guys and a brief look at my process. There is certainly more to come my friends! And don't forget the Group Exhibit that is coming up! :) God Bless!

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