Creating Warm Memories

A couple of months ago I finished my artwork called Warm Memories, and here you can see how that piece came to be.

I started off with drawing my main character. An elven lady holding these orbs in which she’s captured her fondest memories, and I wanted the background to have a bit of a chilly atmosphere. The idea was that no matter how long and cold the winter was or would be, her memories kept her warm.

When I was happy with the drawing, it was time to start with coloring the background. Why start with the background, and not with your main character? Because when your main character is finished, and you start working on the background secondly, it’s a lot more difficult to remove faults. Picture this; you just completed coloring your main character, and you’re completely psyched with it. You start coloring the background, and then suddenly a big blob of paint falls on your main character. You get the picture…

I painted this piece mainly with watercolors. To create a bit of a chilly atmosphere, I used mainly blues and violet for the background. To create the idea of shadow behind the ice crystal in the back, I created a second layer of violet water paint around it.

Okay, so I got a bit ahead of myself. I was just to impatient to start working on her features. I used raw umber for the shadows in her face and body, then added some blue. Then I colored the ice crystal in the back with a light blue. For her dress I used the same violet and pink that I used for the background, dark at the pleats of her sleeves, and lighter on the spots that will catch the light coming from the orbs.

I use masking fluid to cover up the lines in her wings, so they won’t be painted over. Then I add a washing of blue, yellow and pink to her wings, and let the colors merge naturally. While waiting for the wings to dry, I keep adding shadow to her dress and body. Because I’m not happy with the ice crystal, I add another layer of blue to it to darken it some more. When the paint is dry, I remove the masking fluid from her wings.

Still working on the ice crystal. I use a blue-grey pencil to soften the blue that I used earlier. After that I start working on the orbs, and the ‘table’ on which they stand. To get the idea of the table being made of ice, I use light blue and pink, and create a reflection of the orbs. The orbs are colored with a warm range of colors, adding to the idea of them keeping warm memories.

Time for the final touch ups. I use zinc white acrylic paint to add shine to the orbs, and glittering in her dress, wings, face and hair and the ice crystal. Done!

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