Watercolor Inspirational Art

Underdrawing for "Even The Hairs On Your Head"

I found this wonderful book in the library last year while I was researching making picture/storybooks for the Storybook Creation class I was teaching my homeschool kids. It is called The Art of  the Disney Golden Books.

In my research on Walt Disney, I discovered that Walt had originally hired some artists to create inspirational paintings for his movies. Pretty much that is what video game and animation concept artists do today. They work a lot more in digital media, today. They set up scenes and show special lighting. Probably working from researched photographs. Ever since I found out about inspirational art, I have gradually been moving in that direction.

The Art of  the Disney Golden Books gave me a better picture of what it looks like. The animators for Disney in that era apparently contributed in many ways. One of the things they did was create art for picture book adaptations of animated movies they helped create. This helped me connect the dots between Disney’s inspirational art and my own illustration training. Largely these were fine art paintings in oil, gouache, acrylic, or even watercolor or colored inks.

Over this past winter I have changed 2 major things intentionally in the art I create:

First, I am working about 4 times larger than normal. For years I had been focussing on working 9″x6″ and every once in a while 12″x16″ and even more rarely a little larger. My size choice was because of my instructional pursuits. Smaller is more portable, less intimidating for the student, and more affordable. Now I am a professional commercial artist. I aspire to make a big mark. My work needs to be seen. My largest size is now 14″x20″.

Second, I have a story I want to tell. By including people, the viewer gets an automatic connection with the work. I am still about nature scenes, but the story creates excitement. It seems to be easier to tell a story if I have a theme, centrally.

Even The Hairs On Your Head is about the faith of a little boy caught in a scenario of which he feels helpless. Children are great characters for storytelling. Children carry innocence and daring. They often exaggerate and in fact everything is in life is monumental for them.

At this stage I am ready to lay down my blue paints in the first step of painting this piece. Because I want to more seemlessly merge my two painting styles, one in Reeves and one in Grumbacher, I will paint in Reeves watercolor this time. Until next time.

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