a new adventure

Since this is the place where I’m sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of my designing process, I thought you might be interested to see what’s on the drawing table.

First a little history.   I’ve had this idea for awhile now:

I’ve been trying to do a serious pen and ink rendering based on this sketch, but just can’t seem to find the right balance of reality/fantasy I’m looking for.  I can see what I want in my mind’s eye, but getting it onto paper is a whole different story.

The problem with the drawing is what to do with the top part of the image.  The pole just ends in mid-air, so compositionally, the drawing doesn’t make sense to me. It’s very bottom heavy.  Nor does it really tell a story, at least not enough of a story.  I want the image to have a “real” context, but yet, resolve into sheer fantasy.

To that end, I’ve been trying to do something that is evocative of a carousel canopy at the top that kinda fades out and allows the riders on the creature to become the focal point… hopefully, giving the drawing the balance it needs.   Riiiiiiiiight.   Like I said: it’s there in my imagination, but it’s just not ready to be born yet, I guess.

But, I like the *overall* idea so much, I’m not willing to allow it to just languish in the Unworkable Ideas Drawer until who-knows-when.  (Yes, I have one of those.)

(Sorry for the long back-story!)

Even if I can’t find what I’m looking for as far as a pen and ink drawing goes, I do see how I might successfully accomplish a similar effect in a needlework design: Do a border (of course!)!

This is the rough drawing on graph paper, to limit the size of the piece at the outset, and to design the border.  At this point, I prefer the old-fashioned pencil and paper method to a computer.

The arched border will have carousel-inspired and nautical/ocean motifs.  I can see the literal-ness of the border resolving into just a ‘containing’ edge around the bottom of the design.

At least, that’s the plan.  We’ll see how it goes. 😉

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8 Responses to a new adventure

  1. Mare says:

    this is charming . I think you could turn the top of the pole into a trident thing like Poseidon carried. – Mare from NJ

  2. sanjung says:

    Love the concept artwork! Can’t wait to see what comes of this.

    I’m still waiting to get back to cross stitching. My baby is now 4.5 months old and I still haven’t finished her quilt (started in the first trimester, heh) so . . . we’ll so how crafting goes. Have 3 of your kits waiting to be finished. Hee!

  3. Silverlotus says:

    I think this is really lovely. I really like the feeling of movement at the bottom.

  4. Thanks for commenting!

    Joanne, Glad you like the idea. Now if I can just get it to work. No, I’ve never illustrated a book or inspired a book as far as I know. 🙂 Hope the stories you tell as you stitch are happy ones!

    Catherine-Michele, Thanks… I have to say there is some of me in the image: I was an almost-teen-aged sister with a much younger brother. 12 years younger, in fact. 🙂

    Ann, Hmmm… I should qualify that, I guess… a *possible* needlework design. (Who knows; it could wind up going the same ill-fated direction as Illuminata?! I make no promises these days.) I agree with you; I’m beginning to think I’ll need to do the same type of border finishing for the pen and ink rendering.

  5. Ann (WG) says:

    Wait…. What? Needlework design?! 😉
    I think it’s lovely, and the original drawing could have that same framing around it – a gold morrow frame style border, as if you’re looking through a cutout in a wall or a magic portal to somewhere else….

  6. That is so inspiring and lovely!!! I like that is a children theme, without the “cartoonish cuteness” usually seen in children theme arts. I would really see something like this on my daughter’s bedroom wall, whatever the media it’s made of. I like that the intemporal feel of it and that it works for boys and girls alike.

  7. Joanne P says:

    I love the original drawing and the border idea. One problem is that carousel canopys tend to slope upwards rather than downwards which is tricky to balance with the bottom half of the design.

    I’m not worried, I’m sure you’ll come up with a brilliant idea involving lots of gold and curlicues!

    Have you ever illustrated a children’s book or had a book based on your drawings? I’m sure I’m not the only one who tells herself the story as she stitches!

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