Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Turning life upside down?

So here are my covers and first inside spread of Journeys: Spirit.

The idea with this book is to sit, close your eyes for 10 minutes, empty your mind and then let your inner self do the drawing, painting whatever. I started with laying down all the backgrounds and it came really easily. I didn't think about it all. I went with the flow. Everything felt right. Which surprised me because I always approach my work with planning or numerous sketches. I thought having an open brief like this was going to be a big challenge. I guess the mood was right.

Then I put it away ... because ... that's what I felt I should do. I didn't argue with myself. Just follwed instinct. When I came back to it, I started with the inside pages. I sat at my table, background painted in front of me and closed my eyes, pencil in hand and waited. And waited. Then I held the pencil to the page and drew. The marks of the arms came first, followed by head, body, then the lotus and match and before I knew it I had a complete outline of an image before me. It's a bizarre feeling, but a cool one, to make marks on a page and not know what it is going to become until it happens right before your eyes.

So, I approached the covers in the same way and it all came together. I like how the cover image continues on to the back.
My cover letter is J and the back letter is S.

Looking back at the work, I see the symbolism. The character (Yes, I guess it's me) is upside down. I think it's to do with the way I look at life and the world around me. From a different angle. Always searching for something different. The lotus flower is to do with happiness and peace ... for me: finding my happy place. the style/technique I used is a mixture of acryllic, pen, graphite, collage and linseed oil - and is a very good indicator to the way my working style is evolving as an illustrator.

It is a good day. Hope you like.


Blogger carla said...

Leeza - these are amazingly beautiful! I am inspired by the freedom with which you approached this and the result. I love the colors...they make me think of earth and fruit and sunsets...and the textures are so balanced with the composition. I can't wait to see this up close!

6:02 PM  
Blogger carla said...

I keep coming back to look at this...I am so intriguied by the texture and the 3D look in some places. I am also very curious about the linseed oil along with the acrylic, graphite, and collage... are you willing to explain how you use it?

8:16 PM  
Blogger Beth Berst said...

I was wondering about the linseed oil, too. Usually it is commonly used with oil paints or as a sealer for wood. Did you use it as a varnish? Very curious.

Leeza, your book is absolutely beautiful. I am so excited that I'll be getting it next! The colors are scrumptious, they remind me of a tropical drink, yet at the same time they have a very spiritual feel to them. The character has this mystical feel to her. The eyes are really interesting, too. Can't wait to see all the little details and read the words in person. Thanks for making me happy. :)

8:39 PM  
Blogger Leezy said...

Of course I will share Carla.

After I layed down the backgorund acryllics, I polished over the covers and inside pages with linseed oil with a brush and cloth. Not only does this add a soft sheen to the layers but it also added vibrancy to the colours, and helps enrich them. I stumbled across this during one of my experimental accidents.

I left it to dry for a couple of days.

Then went back to do the pencil work etc, as I explained.

Now, when I applied colour to the hair, outfit on the inside the effect was rather different to the covers. The lifted texture - and you 'll see all of this wehn up clos and personal with the book - has more of a 'ragged' look, which could not be acheives on the canvas board ... anyway. I like mixing acryllics and linseed oil because it makes a nice glaze in consistancy and also allows you to work longer with the acryllics before they dry out. You know, slows the drying time down.

So that's pretty much it .. I like the smell too, take me back to my college days ...

And Beth, thank you for your compliments, too. I am really pleased with the eyes ... after trying so hard for so long .. I stopped worrying about them ... and they 'happened.' I guess that's Spirit taking an active role - I must trust my inner self more often and stop trying so hard sometimes ....

Happy happy squishy art love.

9:11 PM  
Blogger melko said...

These are amazing Leeza, they are completely you. I love the way you get lost in the moment. It is a great beginning to a wonderful project.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Beth Berst said...

Just wanted to say... I have this book now, and it is even more beautiful in person.

11:39 PM  

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