Friday, March 4, 2016

Curiouser & Curiouser part 2: Queen of Hearts

My Queen of Hearts piece was a complicated one. I love this crazy, bossy, regal and quick tempered character from Alice in Wonderland.

When starting a character design, I first start with reference. You can check out all my reference for the whole show & my personal pieces on my pinterest board:

It's good to cast a wide net at first, then narrow it down. Here's a sample of my reference:
I like to find historical reference first, then branch out to art history, fashion designers, films, etc. It's important to branch out of just looking at animation & illustration and pull from solid reference & make it personal if you can. My Queen's expression is a spot on representation of a particular family member (who I won't name publicly) who's got this fierce look when something's out of sorts.

Once I have some reference I start sketching. And sketching. And sketching some more. Don't be precious, this is the step to go down all the rabbit holes and extract what makes you happy. Here's a small sample of my sketches. I always keep a sketchbook with me, but if I don't have it, I'll use whatever's available- post-its, napkins, Starbucks cups, toilet paper. haha


Once I found a design I liked, I did a final sketch on tracing paper and used it as my template.

Once I planned out the layers & colors, I began cutting, painting and gettin' messy.

 Here's a detail of the painted face. This is about the size of a quarter...maybe slightly bigger. I'm a mixed media artist, so I like to mash up watercolor, acrylic, colored pencil & ink.

After my paper layers are all painted, I paint the background of my box, let dry and start pouring resin as the first layer. This way my character will cast a shadow and feel more dimensional.

Can't forget to seal the painted papers pieces! The resin will drastically change the color of colored paper. Modpodge seems to work fine for me for now.

Keep layering paint, paper, and resin...

Then after weeks and weeks...the final result is a resin portrait of the Queen of Hearts.

(It looks so much better in person.)

I'm still experimenting with this medium, so sorry I didn't recommend any specific products or get too specific with my process. I've tested many, and found the longer drying resins seem to be the clearest. I've discovered that patience is the key word for this medium.

Thanks for stoppin' by!

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