Friday, October 26, 2007

Illustration Friday: "Grow"

10/25: Grow, oil on coated paper, approx. 7.5x8.25 in.

Well, somehow I've gone a whole day without posting (sigh). I'll have to paint an extra piece of fruit or something. At least I tried the IF this week - by chance I came across this story in The Penguin Book of English Folktales, edited by Neil Philip (whose introduction is far more exciting than most of the tales in the book):

The Turnip and the Horse

A poor man near Brighton grew a huge turnip and sent it to the King. The King graciously accepted and sent the man a guinea. Hearing this an individual (whose descendants are living, so I leave out the name) bought and sent King William a beautiful valuable horse. The King accepted, and immediately sent the huge turnip in return, saying the horse was so fine that he must give something in return that was equally fine of its kind. The man who had expected a valuable gift was not pleased.
This version dates from a 1912 source, but writes Philip, "Here we find a story popular in medieval jestbooks, which is told as true and attached to a nineteenth-century monarch." I'm struck by how nonchalant the narrator sounds - the man simply "grew a huge turnip" - and that's why I made my farmer unsurprised, and maybe as if about to say "that'll do, turnip. That'll do...." But I didn't intend for him to look like a doll.

I printed my sketch (with the reddish outlines) on a scrap piece of Rives paper, used acrylic matte medium to coat the image then mount the paper onto a piece of board, blow-dried it, and went to oils - this is a decent shortcut as long as I use a thick sort of paper and "glue" it down with a lot of medium, mainly to reduce the chance of air pockets (there were a couple here but you can't tell in the end). I tried some Galkyd Lite for the first time here and it's wonderful - it's thin like the old Markowsky medium I used before I did a stand oil mix, and it dries fast enough that I can start layering thin colors on one another like glazes. It's like rediscovering something I'd lost. I could have pushed this farther but just tried to get it done fast.


JO said...

Your illos are magical.

Dan P. Carr said...

Thank you Jo :)

Natura said...

I'm loving your work very much! Gorgeous... this and the rest in your blog.

Laurel Neustadter said...

A wonderful, magical image. I like the brushwork. The pink on the turnip really draws the viewer's eye.

strugglingwriter said...

This is great. I love it!