Here is another piece done exclusively for participation in the Illustration Fridays call for entries, this week themed ‘Hibernate’. I’ve used the opportunity for a little stylistic experimentation. This piece is a pretty big shift in direction from my usual style – far more ‘realistic’ and far more in the ‘fantasy’ genre than how I usually work. The original sketches and concepts didn’t necessarily put it in that direction, I think I planned for it to be far more ‘graphic’, it really came down to the final rendering as being the extreme diversion from my usual work. I got really into the textures, it was fun, I created my own custom shale brush and tree brush.
Conceptually, It’s drawing upon the same Inuit sculpture influence from the Art Gallery of Ontario exhibit as last weeks illustration did. The composition draws from works on paper by Robert Motherwell on display at the AGO as well as paintings by Michael Davidson which were on display at General Hardware in Toronto. The heavy weight of the black in the central mass and the way the both use the negative space to frame it and penetrate it creates an exciting tension in what is otherwise a very static, and grounded composition. The final reference included in this weeks illustration is the shale formation from my weekend’s hiking excursion to Buttermilk Falls.
Above: Work by Michael Davidson, photo from Buttermilk Falls, photo of shale, work by Robert Motherwell, anonymous Inuit Sculpture.