What not to do.

I guess part of the process of 'finding your voice' and playing around to discover what you want to say and how you want to say it is finding out what doesn't work...

With this one I tried to put down a nice sepia underlay, but still with a bit of texture and splatters. Was pretty happy at that point. I added some colour. OK. Played around with thumbprints (why the background looks blotchy). Not so happy with that. Then, I added the birds in gouache. I'd been wanting to try gouache because I had heard how it's like watercolours except it has opacity to it, so that you can layer light on top of dark. This is more natural to me because the majority of my painting experience before taking up watercolours this year was with oils.

Unfortunately, I think I had already given up with this piece by the time I got to the birds. I just whacked on the colour without really even thinking about what would work well, and to my dismay discovered that my 'lifting' technique doesn't work as well with gouache because it is that little bit thicker. hmmm. may have to just use it for highlights. I do really like this composition though so maybe I'll redo it at some point....

So here are a lot of things that don't work. At least I'll know some of what not to do next time!

In other news, this afternoon I am starting a 5 week children's book illustration course with author/illustrator Lorette Broekstra. I am sooooo excited. It's for 2 hours each Saturday and I can't wait to get some more inspiration. I may post a synopsis of each class here just in case anyone out there in cyberland is interested.

Was just about to join Inspire me Thursday when they launched their new site! Check it out - pretty cool. The challenge this week is abstract art however which doesn't really get me fired up I have to say. Maybe I'll join next week....

Also! I finally found out about an SCBWI contest in good time!

Illustrator Contest #19 - Cruisin'
Gas prices haved soared beyond anyone's wildest dreams -- it's time we switched to alternative methods of travel. Imagine you're a child and illustrate the vehicle you would most like to cruise around in. Oh, by the way, you don't necessarily have to be a human child.

Sounds like fun!!!