I would like to start this post off with an old Christmas Carol…
Said the little lamb to the shepard boy
Do you hear what I hear
Ringing through the sky shepard boy
Do you hear what I hear…
Man, things have been pretty busy and hectic since I had the vision for this drawing late in July. Work, life, more work, concerts (MSG Basscenter!), and other obligations… This has taken me the most time I have ever pumped into a piece, and that in combination with being so busy it sometimes is hard to fit all of it in. Lets look at where this thing came from before you get to see the final piece. If you can’t wait just scroll down to the end!
Here is the original picture I used of myself. Yes that is me with glasses on inside, no it does not matter for the final product. After that I then took that image, put it into photoshop and turned it into black and white. A screen shot of my photoshop setup is shown below.
I had to do some cropping of the different sections of my head and face in order to get all of the shadows how I wanted them. If I tried to do the whole image it would screw up say, my hair, while keeping my face perfect. Making my hair perfect would screw up my glasses, etc. So I just cut everything up and adjusted the levels individually to pull out each of the different parts of myself.
The next step in this plan is to print my self portrait out and sketch how I wanted it to look on my large piece of bristol paper. The result of this is shown below, with a 12×8 piece of paper shown for scale. I adjusted the levels so you could see more easily the faint pencil marks on the white paper.
So now keep this image in your mind as we progress through the final product. I specifically drew myself in a way where no lines ever touched. I specifically chose a black and white print out so you can imagine if I colored in all of the ‘solid’ black shapes that were created, it would eventually look like my original picture. Obviously that would be way too easy, so instead I chose to go with a bunch of colored squiggly lines! The cool thing that this allows me to do, which is similar to my Binary Fracture drawing, is that as I begin to color this in, each time I cross a border I would either switch from dark to light, or from light to dark. I really love bright and colorful works, so obviously I had the whole rainbow to chose from when drawing this.
Confused yet? Remember I am trying to capture the shading of the original black and white picture. So when I picked a color to put down, I chose both a light shade and a darker shade, or colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel. I started off with a couple blobs of color, but you can see me working from the tiniest blobs to bigger ones as shown below.
Again, on that leftmost blob I wanted that largest concentric ‘blob’ to be purple. So I picked a lighter shade and a darker shade, and the black portion of my picture gets the dark shade and the white portion of the original picture gets the light shade. What this does is create an embedded image into the drawing. Yes, the colors and patterns I created by themselves are bright, intense, and sometimes overwhelming in real life, but within is this deeper picture of myself.
Hopefully you can see that in the final result below.
It’s all there. Every shade from the original blown up version of myself is still preserved! Can you see the glasses, my nose and mouth, shoulders, and hair? You should be able to if you look close enough, the shading is all there. So not only do you get the crazy blobs of color by themselves if you look at the overall view, you also get the underlying face staring back at you.
This ‘self-portrait’ I am extremely happy with in the end, it has been three months in the making but it is finally here. Unfortunately this probably will not be in my store and ready for reprint until sometime in November as I seem to be way too busy and having way to much fun.
I think that is all I have, so in conclusion, I began this post with a Christmas Carol, so it looks like I will see it out with lyrics from that same song…
Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see
Way up in the sky little lamb
Do you see what I see…