I had a breakthrough with my health. Things are looking up and I am back to creating art. I’ve been reading books about my beloved Pre- Raphaelites again as a distraction. For my birthday, Mikael got me, Rossetti: Painter and Poet, by J.B. Bullen.
It’s been a really, really long time since I’ve done anything artistic. Between the stress of being sick, buying a house, and moving, I haven’t felt like creating anything. It can be especially difficult to create when you feel paralyzed with fear.
To break myself out of this stasis, I turned to one of my dependable art tricks: take a painting you love and reinterpret it. This time I chose, “Bocca Baciata,” by Rossetti. I especially wanted to capture a feeling of the turned head, distant eyes, and voluminous hair. At first I gave her peonies in her hair, but the Autumnal/Old Summer color scheme of Rossetti’s painting didn’t fit with the blossoms. So, I switched out flowers for turkey tail mushrooms. At that point I realized that I loved the idea enough to not just make a pencil drawing, but to turn it into a painting- quite possibly using egg tempera.

The initial drawing~ “The Golden Sigil.”

The next step was to make a sketch (as opposed to a drawing) with the new information I wanted to convey. I figured out hand position and placement, motifs, and color map. 

Rossetti’s magnificent, “Bocca Baciata.” 

I also had to make a Value Map. This was especially important because in “Bocca Baciata” Rossetti’s model, Fanny Cornforth is blonde against a dark background. Since the woman in my painting is brunette, I have to make a decision. Do I want to paint a dark background, which when combined with dark hair will cause the milky face to advance- or do I want a mid value background which will showcase the voluminous dark hair, as well as the pale face? I sketched a mid value bg, but I’m still undecided. Luckily, I can start painting a mid background and change it to a dark background easily. 

And that wraps up the initial planning stage. Even though I tend to be struck with inspiration and “see” a painting, I still like to map out my ideas in detail. It’s very easy for me to get so wrapped up in one part of the painting that I forget to leave room for something I really needed to start painting earlier in the process.
My next steps are-
make a larger finished drawing
scan it and make a Color Key in photoshop
print a copy and transfer it to my background
paint it. (so easy to type, but so many hours to do)

I am fascinated by the creative process. I read everything I can on how my favorite artists made art. Mostly, I keep this blog (too infrequently for any kind of audience) to remind myself of the steps that I all too often forget in my impatience to get “something” done.