Thursday, April 24, 2008
I finally finished Paleo-Umi, a block my son inspired me to make for his roll-playing character. He challenged me to make it in the style of my Paleo-Mythos series of improbable cave art creatures. So my mythical ancestral cave artist must have seen a primordial umi in the sky and painted it on her cave wall.
I was never completely satisfied with any of the prints tho. Umi is blue with silver fringe, but I didn't want a monochrome print, and none of the multi-colored ones quite did it. So Umi lanquished unfinished to my mind.
In the meantime I discovered an interesting coloring technique that uses secondary colors -- orange, green and purple. You can get some of the most interesting color mixes that way, like pinks and blues and yellows. The eye creates them. In weaving this is called color & weave.
So I picked a print that was mostly orangey, with a greenish dragon, and started from there. I used prismacolor pencils and some pastel and slowly began adding color over color. I shifted Umi into a blue, with silver tips to his fringe, horns and claws, and the background became multicolored, giving it depth. The block I had chosen had a distinct oval in the woodgrain and I had incorporated it into the design as a rippling pool. I distinguished it from the rest of the "rock wall" with darker passes of greens and blues and purples to make it stand out.
When I was done, the only part that remained untouched with new color was my ancestral artist's hand print with which she signed her work.
I gave it to Will for his 25th birthday. I hope he finds it a suitable representation of his Umi.