Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Starting Something Different

The latest news flash is that I have been asked to do some illustrations for a book on Greek culture. The interested person happened to see some of my work online and liked the style of landscapes I did of scenes in Greece.

It's exciting, yes, but the thing is he thinks my color choices are dark and melancholy. This particular painting that he liked was on the washy side and I guess that's what he's interested in. I'm not so sure I am illustrator material. I think if there's a work someone likes maybe I can recreate that feeling but it might have to be on my terms. It's the idea that I paint something a certain way and that's it. Now my work has to have limits or direction, but it's not coming from me.

Well, anyway, I'm working on what he suggested and maybe he'll be interested, or not. He wants figures dancing and having fun. That's fine, but since I have been painting from life lately I'm not used to using photographs. Dancing people are not easy to paint from either, photo or no photo. I'm taking liberties with the poses and just going at it.

I sketched out this photo I found in my pile, of a party I attended with our Greek dance group a while ago. My son is on the right playing his bagpipe and people are dancing having a good time. Using the twenty minutes time slot I lightly painted in some color values. What this is going to look like painted up may not be to this person's liking, but it's a painting and I'm doing my best, regardless of the outcome.

I don't know about melancholy, though. Looks happy enough with energy and movement. Let's see what happens when it's finished.


  1. How awesome for you. It's great to challenge ourselves artistically. You are probably being too hard on yourself. You'll do beautifully.

  2. Blogger has been acting up for me.. Already tried to post twice. Sorry if you get multiple comments from me.
    Greeks are very hard to please, as they think they know everything! Ta kseroun ola kalutera. I think that this project is a great opportunity for you to step out of your comfort zone and grow as an artist. Regardless of whether in the end he chooses to use your paintings or not, it will show you that you can do it, when you thought it wasn't your thing. I for one think that your paintings are happy and airy.
    You are doing awesome.

  3. Dora, this is looking fab! Don't listen to the dark thoughts - you'll be really good at this. Already I can see life and movement. You go girl!

  4. Anonymous, I do enjoy a challenge now and then, but I just have this feeling this is NOT what this person wants for his book no matter how well it comes out. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

  5. Thank you Venetia, I agree with you. With a work like this I find I tend to get nit picky and add too many details if I take long to finish it. I end up seeing too much with a photo and I can't just do my sketchy thing. We'll see how it goes.

  6. You're a doll, Pat. Keeping my fingered crossed I keep it light. It reminds of a painting I did last summer of my garden gate and how I added too many details. Taking it twenty minutes at a time!

  7. Hi, Dora,
    The work, colour, above, looks nice. I hope a trial goes well.

    Do you belong to a peak body for illustrators like Australian Society of Authors(*that includes illustrators)? In case, legal knowledge, for example, contract and minimum rate etc, etc is critical. I'm an ASA member and always get advice from them. Google it, it will come up, if you have interest. Hope a similar organization is in USA.
    If too many unsolicited words, please delete this comment.
    Kind regards, Sadami

  8. Sadami, sorry to see your comment late! Thanks for your information, it's very valuable to me and many. You can post all the words you want, too!


The Latest Work With Permission

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