Monday, March 29, 2010

During the Deluge

Following on from a previous post where I showed the final 9 illustrations I completed as my entry for the 2010 "Enchanted Doll" competition, I had some progress shots and "working" snapshots of the illustrations and my drawing table during the three month long ordeal!

I pasted my 'inspiration wall' full of the different dolls and costumes I wanted to capture in my set of drawings... it turned into a bit of an "enchanted wall" :-)

I started with a "base" sketch and pose for the nine figures, to help unify the entire set. The costuming and colours were where the 'doll' became different characters.

Each drawing was worked up in many many layers of transparent watercolour. To get the deep, rich colours of some of the backgrounds, I had to spend many days applying layers of colours, and letting them dry in between. At one stage I was working on several drawings at the one time - I would apply a layer of colour to one, then put it aside to dry, and go to the next drawing, and so on and so forth. 

And the final product (this here is just the first five that I finished, three were still in progress, and one had not yet been started on) 
I mentioned I made sure that each drawing fit perfectly inside the official Enchanted Doll boxes, so that they wouldn't just have a blank cardboard backing.


  1. my goodness monika these are so bloody amazing, really...i'm almost speechless getting a look behind the scene so to speak of how much you pored of yourself into these exquisite art pieces. You should be so proud of your art - and I'm sure Marina was beyond amazed when she received these in the birthday contest :)

  2. Oh Eli - you have no idea how much a comment like that means to me. It was a very emotional and taxing journey, but one that did excite me as I learnt new things and tried new techniques.. they're all experiences I shall be able to put to good use in my art from now on

  3. Monika, this is so wonderful. Thank you for sharing your process. I love seeing how you work. And your pieces were just wonderful. I loved everything about them. Truly spectacular.

  4. woooow, I love this post! it's amazing to see the works in progress. You have so much patience, to have to wait for your layer to dry before starting another. Woooooow. <3

  5. I've always wanted to sit by you and watch you work, and this post was like getting the chance! Better for you, to be sure, because I'd have driven you mad with questions. Your description of all your intensive creative labor makes me think of a quote I like very much: Art is difficult, not because it chooses to be difficult, but because it chooses to be art." (Donald Barthleme) ~Ruth

  6. Ruth - I like questions :-) I often don't go into detail about the meanings or stories in my pictures, but happily do so whenever asked.
    I like that Barthleme quote, it's so appropriate.

    Thanks Noxy!! - I've become a great multitasker, today I am working on 4 different art projects, as msot of them have "stages" where I can work on a piece, then need to leave it to dry.


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