I don't know why, but I have suddenly got my creative Mojo back! I haven't painted anything outside my sketch book in 3 years (since I painted this).
But tonight, I suddenly felt the urge to paint again. And I'm not talking pocket size. I'm thinking big. Really big. 3 foot by 4 foot canvas to be precise.
I've not put brush to canvas yet, I'm still in the planning stage. My idea is to take some of our Japan photos, the ones that I think really scream Japan and turn them into a comic strip with a little comic caption at the top. The images I've chosen are a snow capped Mt Fuji, a single stem of cherry blossom, a couple of Geisha underneath a vivid red silk umbrella and a night shot of some of the illuminated billboards in Osaka. Up to now, the caption says "Meanwhile in Mt Fuji.... Ninja's strike again!" (remember the ninja restaurant in this post?) but I'd love it if anyone can come up with something better for me?
I'm not going to try and make the images look like photos, I'm going to do a pop art cartoon sort of effect. Like this one I did of Johnny Cash and June Carter from the cover of the film Walk the Line (the first film me and My P saw together - I did it when we bought our first house together - if you look really closely on the bottom right, you can see my old signature before I was Mrs B!).
I absolutely love this painting. And everyone who comes into my house comments on it. So I think it will be great for the new painting to match while being a totally unique piece of art at the same time.
As this is the first big painting I've done since I've been writing this blog, I think I will walk you through my process and take photos for you along the way.
Tonight is step one: The planning.
I knew I wanted my painting to be in honour of our recent trip to Japan and it had to be all of the things that I remember Japan as being.
First thing I did was to think of the first words that come into my head when I think of Japan. Those words were Fuji, Geisha, Blossom, Night Lights, Ninja, Temples, Buddha, Zen, Comics and so on. From these words, I was able to choose the photos I wanted to use in the painting.
Then I did a few doodles to decide on the layout. I wanted it to look like a comic strip so I did a few layouts from different comics and decided on a large image across the top and then a row of three images across the bottom. I didn't want it to be too linear so I've gone for wonky angles with the text in the top left corner.
Then I had a play around with my photos in Photoshop, I applied filters, distorted the images and messed with the colours until I had 4 pictures that I felt complimented each other, that the colours were balanced and most of all that together, as a comic strip they tell the story of our wonderful trip.
I'm not going to show you the photos I've chosen, I want you to get the full effect when I unveil the finished painting. So watch this space for Step 2 - Pencil on canvas.
Princess and her paintbrush x