nakedbee: photo of a bee (Default)
[personal profile] nakedbee

I picked up a new fandom this year ([ profile] gloriana is such an enabler!) so I wanted my second piece for the Escapade Art Show to be something from Due South. I also visited the Icon Museum (Ikonen Museum Frankfurt) earlier in the year, and was inspired to try something in a traditional devotional painting style.

Larger image & making-of stories and photos behind the cut:

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, but it went through some less-than-pretty stages on the way!

1) my first, crude sketch
I was determined to use Illustrator for this project. I learned a lot during the process! Ray K is holding a doughnut as Dief looks on from the center panel. To the right of Fraser I considered putting the ghost of Bob Fraser, but quickly decided that was too weird. I couldn't think of a prop for Ray V (later I decided the Riviera was the best match, but then abandoned the attributes idea altogether).

2) assembled photo references
I couldn't find full length references for the Rays, so their lower halves are reference photos I took of Mister Bee. I also tweaked Fraser's legs; in the original photo they were spread much farther apart and so I adjusted them to a less odd-looking stance.

3) the wooden panel
After planning out the size and shape in AI, I made up the hinged panel: scrap plywood, red spray paint, fancy hinges, thumbtacks. It took forever to get the three panels to actually line up. I put the hinges on and then used a belt sander to even up the edges. I really like the aged look of the panel surface ... low-grade plywood with only the largest knots filled in and sanded. The spray paint was thin enough to highlight the imperfections rather than fill them.

4) after a few days of tracing
The bodies came together pretty quickly; I just traced over the photos. I did deliberately try to simplify the drawing as much as possible; I knew I wanted a minimalist/cartoony style. Ray K's jeans and Ray V's coat looked odd until I added a few shadows, which seemed to help a bunch.

5) faces attempt #1
I tried just tracing the faces, but they came out with varying degrees of hideousness. Faces are hard!

6) panel decorations
Taking a break from the faces, I painted in the gold backgrounds. To make the gold paint look more like gold leaf, I put it on thinly with my fingers. My fingerprints gave it a cool texture, and I fingerpainted in deliberate, short strokes to get a small-rectangles-of-gold-leaf look like I've seen in very old gold paintings. I used dimensional paint in a little squeeze tube to make the curlicues around the edges. My obsession with henna / mehndi a few years back continues to be useful.

7) experimenting with faces
I just kept plugging away on the face, trying out more and more cartoony styles. After I had a bunch, I started mixing and matching the parts I liked best, even across the three characters.

8) last bits of fiddling
I experimented with halos and extras like Ray K's turtle, the Riv, and Dief but ultimately decided against including them. I also tried a few different options for the name labels.

9) final print
I made a few last tweaks and then started printing out the figures. I used clear spraypaint to seal the paper and then did a top coat of a clear gel medium to give the look of brushstrokes. Then I cut out each figure and used craft glue to attach them to the panel.

10) The finished piece!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-12 06:41 pm (UTC)
bethbethbeth: Snaples' drawing of Benton Fraser. (DS Fraser (Snaples))
From: [personal profile] bethbethbeth
Oh, this is well done. And welcome to my old fandom (<3's due South)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-03-22 06:30 am (UTC)
j_s_cavalcante: (FKV4 by lordessrenegade)
From: [personal profile] j_s_cavalcante
Wow, that is just amazing. I love it!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-04-01 12:14 am (UTC)
peoriapeoriawhereart: in red serge Benton looks askance (Default)
From: [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart
Thanks for showing the how. And wow, it's really cool.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-29 05:52 pm (UTC)
ride_4ever: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ride_4ever
For reasons of [personal profile] gloriana I ended up on this page today. Spectacular fanart! Hope you'll make an appearance in due South fandom again.