Monday, October 13, 2008

Sheila, the zombie cheerleader

I’ve finished my zombie cheerleader painting; my husband named her Sheila. I’m not completely happy with Sheila, but I learned a few things about what I like and don’t like about the process I was experimenting with. As requested, here are a few pictures of Sheila, the zombie cheerleader, with notes under each picture.

The original sketch: I did this sketch in pencil, then finished it with crayon. I like the cartoony, child-like quality of Sheila here, but she doesn’t look very zombie-ish.

The finished painting: Sheila looks much more like a zombie now, and I moved her leg over with the other one so it wouldn’t be hidden under the pompom. There are several things I would change about this painting, and if it hadn’t been an experiment in process, I probably would have scrapped the first image mid-way and re-painted to fix some issues. The one thing I do like, that doesn’t show up so well here, is the black lines in the background. There are 6 cheerleaders behind Sheila, along with swirls in the sky and lines and bugs in the grass.

The stage right before the finished painting: I actually like this better than the finished painting, even though I’m a big fan of the black outline. I think there’s a way to get this more painterly look, and still have some sort of outline. FYI, the first two images were scanned into my computer, but this one was a picture taken with my cell phone because it was still taped to the board so I could continue painting. The colors are the same as the final.

Next up: I’m painting a picture of the MC in the novel I’m going to write for NaNoWriMo. I’ll be using a slightly different painting process, starting with black outline over the sketch, then thin layers of acrylic wash (think varnishes or glazes), and finally deciding if I want to finish with a technique similar to the zombie painting, or if I want to keep it more layered and transparent.

p.s. It’s October 13, Only 18 more days until Halloween, when the zombies appear!