'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Flamboyant Fan - the tricky one begins...


Well, the little girl asked for it, and here is the start.  
Because the shape is so complex, I went back to basics and began with carefully scaling-up the photo I had chosen.  Do you remember doing this method at school?

It is a labourious process. 
And although it will take a while, I'll rub out all the grid lines.  I put them in very lightly, so the paper shouldn't get scuffed.  I generally don't use erasers.  



Scaling up an image using a square grid.

Here are some of the reference photos I took.  I want to make the curves and folds of the tail and fins look plausible, so I need to know how she (he?) moves.



Although it is less dynamic than some other poses, this image below is the one I'll be using, to 'go' with the other profile views.  The fish paintings will then make a good set.

I can always do other poses another time if I want to.



I even took a video clip.  I can freeze images off it if I need to see a particular angle.



10 comments:

  1. When the video started I thought that you had the 'wrong' girl. I remembered her tail! Then she sailed elegantly into view. I've never had any real interest in fish but since I bought fish for my pond a few months ago I've become very aware of them. Now I'm actually getting quite excited to see what they do and how your pictures are going to proceed.

    PS The Handbag did get a fine covering of ash yesterday.

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    1. I wasn't interested in fish much at all before I started at the pet shop Geeb. In fact, I decided to paint the fish only because I was sure I wouldn't be tempted to buy and take them home - unlike the puppies!
      But they are fascinating! Every day I mentally collect a nice selection and I'm eyeing up a big 100 litre tank...just have to resist for another week!

      Re ash - I thought it might...

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  2. That's quite a major project. Have you considered using a pantograph?

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    1. SP - a pantograph! I remember them! My childhood contained one - a couple of pieces of plastic with sloppy joints in a box. It was never very accurate, but perhaps I was using it wrong.

      I just go to the photocopy place and press '130% enlargement' these days...

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  3. Uncanny. Do you think she (he?) knew she (he?) was being watched?

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    1. Robert - Yes, she knew I was there alright. They are very friendly. And they remember where the food comes from.

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  4. You're quite right about them remembereing where the food comes from - I am presuming that you've already realised that the goldfish 1 second memory things is a complete myth!!

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    1. AF - well, I saw it depicted on 'Finding Nemo', but a simple observation watching the frenzy at feeding time should put anyone right.

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  5. It's fascinating to see the process you use to paint them. Is this something that you have been taught or do you come to it on your own?

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    1. Helsie - A bit of both, really. I've had a total of about 8 years formal tutoring/ study but I also devour art books and also used to play and experiment a lot.
      I don't recall when I learnt the scaling technique. Possibly drawing maps at school. When I was a kid I used to draw a lot of maps - just for fun. My father was a cartographer, so that might have been where the interest came from.

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