31 January 2011

Totem-Self-Portrait Color Concept

So, as a concept portrait, not as a finished illustration, I find that this was an interesting and partially gratifying exercise.
Considering the technical work and the execution, I do not think I was at my best, or working terribly clearly. In this I am dissatisfied. There are areas of heavy layering and areas of unfocused, unclear, unfinished handling.  It is something to note however, considering the "stepping-stones of learning", if you will.

Color Concept, Watercolor. Mairin-Taj Caya 2011

30 January 2011

Totem-Self-Portrait Sketches

At PCA&D, for seniors (and juniors), there is a new element to the Illustration curriculum which features a Concept Art course in the second semester. While I have been largely in disagreement with various directional aspects of the course organization, I did have some quick fun with the concept of merging an animal, or a particularly important totem, with some portrait - either of oneself or a celebrity. I chose myself.

I have always been drawn to the birds, and very much so the birds of prey, and narrower still the red- tailed and red-shouldered hawks. The other animals that I feel particular appreciation for and great awe of are the cats - big, small, wild, tame, it doesn't matter to me. (I have two at home). I took a while to choose one of the two directions to go in, and chose the bird's side this round.

Here I have a merging with the red-tailed hawk and another with the barn owl. I will be taking the hawk to completion first, and - as with the snow queen and cailleach sketches bellow - I want to revisit the owl concept later.

Hawk Self-Portrait, Mairin-Taj Caya 2011.

Owl Self-Portrait, Mairin-Taj Caya 2011.


28 January 2011

Cailleach From Winter Theme

Well, I went with the Cailleach personification of winter, the old Irish archetype. Considering the time frame I had and other projects within that time frame, I changed my mind about my interest in playing around with oils, and used watercolor instead.
I still wish to pursue other completed versions of both of the sketches (shown in previous entry), and at such a time I think oils will be fun.

Serendipitously, an epic snowstorm - unusual for this region - pummeled through my town for roughly the two days I wished to work on this piece! I spent happy hours building with the brush when otherwise I would have had class. Class was canceled! Lovely week.

"Cailleach", 10x14", Watercolor. Mairin-Taj Caya 2011.

This is a Celtic illumination sample which I found in one of my books, this one called "The Celtic Book Of Days" by Caitlin Matthews, which I used as an inspiration for the weave and knot work color theme.

From "The Celtic Book of Days", by Caitlin Matthew, 1995.
And this is my color comp thumb. Things obviously changed a tad.

Color Comp, Cailleach. Mairin-Taj Caya 2011.

22 January 2011

Winter-Themed Ideas

Prompted by my Greeting Card elective, I came up with these two slightly similar concepts for the personification of Winter. The idea for the course is to make an image for the winter holiday season for a gift card, but in my sketching, I decided, whatever the outcome for the class, I would very much like to paint both of these, perhaps even one other, out of sincere enthusiasm for the practice. I am hoping to get in some more exploration in oils with these, as my other work this (final!) semester is watercolor.

I played with a slightly Scandinavian theme with the Snow Queen for one, and the Old Hag of Ireland (and Scotland) named Cailleach (who strikes the earth with her hammer and turns it iron hard for the winter months) for another. I enjoyed the bit with the Celtic weaving and knot work. I may have to fiddle with Cailleach's head a bit more.

So, here they are, and we shall see which one I complete for the class deadline first. I image I'll get to the other one(s) at a later time, when I can.

Snow Queen, 5x7". Mairin-Taj Caya 2011.

Cailleach, 5x7". Mairin-Taj Caya 2011.