I thought it might be interesting to post the various stages of an image while I’m working on it. I hope it is.
This piece was done for the MSU School of Music’s upcoming production of La Boheme. The impetus for style is the historical time-frame for the production and elements were pulled from the set design.
Once the sketch was approved I drew the image on 140# Arches hotpress paper, soaked and stretched it. You can still see the mottling from the water. This is the time to put in a background wash.
At first I want to establish the key values and cool/warm range. We were aiming for a Toulouse L’autrec palette.
Next I wanted to get a feel for how much washy paint I wanted and what flat areas. I also needed to test how to handle outlining. I was looking at old prints, but did not want to copy style, just pull some of the feel.
Since the roses play such a big role, getting their color in place was important and would drive the rest of the piece.
With such a light-touch on the wash, doing the face was scary…no room for error!
This is the finished art I submitted.
It was asked to make the woman prettier and smiling. I could not make the changes on the original art without changing the entire look of the face. It would have had to become opaque to allow coverage of the old features and adjustments. So, I went to PhotoShop. I felt like a plastic surgeon…nip and tuck.
This is the final image which will appear on the poster. I have to admit I prefer the original, but if my client’s happy, I’m happy.