28 August 2015

Welsh Trilogy - Drawing Three {Owl} - "Blodeuwedd" 'Flower Face' Owl goddess of Spring {And Final Triptych}

{To learn more about the background of this trilogy inspiration, content material, mythological context, and over all goal, Read the first blog post of this series - "drawing one" - featuring Arawn, Lord of the Underworld, HERE
Read the second blog post of this series - "drawing two" - featuring Rhiannon, goddess of Horses and the Hunt, HERE}

*The triptych of all finished works will be shown at the end.


Our last installment, and our last drawn Welsh immortal, is Blodeuwedd.

Pronounced arguably as 'blod-EYE-weth' or 'blo-day-wathe', she was created from the flowers of oak, broom, and meadowsweet blooms by two great magicians to be the most beautiful bride for the great hero Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Her name means 'flower-face', essentially.

Over the course of her story, she is transformed once more, this time into an owl, as punishment, to forever roam the night.
And in some cases, Bloduewedd is considered the goddess of Spring and owls, maintaining a vital and shape-shifting aspect to her persona, associated with the archetypal 'white goddess'.

Blodeuwedd, 'flower face' Owl goddess of Spring, 2015

Each piece in the trilogy set is drawn in graphite on soft deckled Rives BFK, 10x13" (full page), 8x10" (live area).

Blodeuwedd was completed in two days, breaking down to roughly 16 hours, not including the initial two inch gesture sketch, as seen below:

Original two inch rough concept thumbnail, on the drawing board, 2015

Laying in the values, on the drawing board, Studio shot, 2015

I work fairly loosely to start, building the inner structure of the figure I am creating with light curving strokes. I find this relaxing, and helpful to shape the grace of the human form in organic patterns or marks.

My mark making and linear work is quite confident, so you can see, in the above image, that I've found the likeness of the body fairly quickly, by eye, and I'm laying in the values immediately afterwards, building the flesh up meticulously, but easily. It's all about edges, here! 

I wanted Blod to have a kind of poised and slightly reticent quality, particularly about her face, as she is more inclined to the shadows with those owl eyes and plumage-speckled change.
With her environment and her magical origin so clearly rooted in the forested and floral world, foliage seemed a good framework for her negative space, in the drawing.

Final drawing, Detail, Graphite, 2015

And, although the order in which I drew them is how I've posted them, their intended order as a final visual trilogy set, as seen below in the original mock up, is as follows:

Original two inch vertical scale sketches, in order (triptych), Graphite, 2015
Final Artwork - "Welsh Immortals - A Mabinogion Trilogy" - Triptych, Graphite, 2015

And the final collection - "Welsh Immortals - A Mabinogion Trilogy".

Original drawings available for pre-sale only, at this time.

Art Prints of the graphite drawings are available for purchase now - Browse and order here

Full color paintings will be completed at the same size, also available for purchase as finished art-prints, also available now for pre-sale - Contact me directly, HERE

If you would like to see more, or have any comments to contribute to the project, please share below in the comments section! I'm always interested in feedback. 

For now,
As always,

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