Lindsey Ayres

Illustration and Graphic Design Student

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The Soul's Fragility

This class was exciting for me, as I love working in colored pencils!  I'm a little bit late getting started, and a lot bit late posting something here, but I just had twins in December, so I'm actually quite pleased with all the work I've been able to do this past month during naptimes and after bed time, sometimes rocking both babies with my feet while I work away! 

Here are some of my pieces I've done in the past, so you can see how different I normally worked before this class:

     

Anyway, I started this project simply wanting to draw a picture of my daughter Clementine, which I took after she was injured in a sledding accident and was cuddled up in her blanket with her dolly. I loved the lighting and mood. Then, I can't remember what came first--  the idea to switch the dolly out with an owl we met at the park one day, or the idea to add moths all around her. 

Either way, I came across a poem by Mary Oliver one night, called "Some Questions You Might Ask," that tied everything together. The first few lines are:

         Is the soul solid, like iron?


         Or is it tender and breakable, like


         the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?


         Who has it, and who doesn’t?

( http://www.csun.edu/~hceng017/oliverpoem.html )

So, I gathered some moth images from the web and used the owl and picture of my daughter and photoshopped the design as follows to see how it would look altogether.

I originally thought I would love all the colors together, but after seeing them like this, I think I might need to at least use muted tones, if not only two hues, as Marco suggested. I might play around with color schemes in Photoshop as well before I get started with colored pencils.  Here is how it looks completely desaturated:

 This is actually a little unnerving posting the photos alongside my work, since y'all should be able to see the mistakes I've made, but I think it will also be useful for me and others.  Here is my completed black and white portion of this project:

Okay, alright... this is all I have thusfar.  I plan to add maybe either teals and magentas, teals and violets, or maybe golds and greens, I'm not sure, yet. I'm also unsure whether I'll add some stars or aurora borealis to the black background.  The pure blackness of it seems to be distracting from the centerpiece, or at least taking away from the smaller bits of chiarascuro.

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Update 5/22/2014

Adding Color to "The Soul's Fragility"

I quickly and roughly tried out a few color options for the blanket around my daughter in Photoshop before adding color to this piece. 

I chose the mossy greens, since I liked how it looked with the texture of the blanket and the idea of her being surrounded by nature (which is good for the soul
)! Also, green can be a neutral color that wouldn't compete too much with the moths (but would tone down that one neon green moth that stands out too much with the other backgrounds).

So I got out my prismacolors and got to work for a little bit and it was a delight!  Here is my finished piece:

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