Pagan Valentine: Completed artwork
So, there have been a couple of other posts along the way in the process which will show you how I work: the opening sketch done in pencil, and the inked line art (which preserves the fluid nature of the drawing in the final, non-linear painting). I love valentines, and anything romantic, so I wanted to do one drawn from pagan mythology, which is ripe with love stories.
This piece is drawn from Polish myth, including the Asiatic ethnic, genetic and cultural heritages as mentioned in the other posts (which I share; the legacy of migrating steppe tribes is visible in the Eurasian ‘almond shaped eyes’ (a trace of an epicanthus or eye fold) and ‘olive’ skin many of us have– in Western corrective makeup that’s falsely called ‘sallow’, in the same way that dark ‘circles’ under the eyes are supposed to only be a sign of fatigue. Not with everyone’s skin tone! If you look at Byzantine art (and many Slavic and Mediterranean people) this is not the case.).
The media had some fun and expected mixing here, too. (Which fits beautifully with a God of water and rain and trickstery-ness, and the unpredictable wonder of love itself.) My ink was supposed to be waterproof. In practice this proved only partially true; however, it gave a wonderful warmth and romantic softness to the skin tones as it bled outward and mixed with the gouache. As you go through different media stages, things work differently– what’s busy detail in a line drawing can be vital to balance the focus in a color composition.
I find that even though some parts become hidden as an image is worked up, and each media stage can stand alone. they create a solid foundation for the final piece, contributing to the whole. The final part of this piece to be added is an unpublished romantic poem– which I hope to share once it’s found a home.