Behold! For I have finally reached the very last page of my Rainbow Art Journal. After this illustration, I get to close this sketchbook, take it off my art table, and file it away on a shelf. It has taken me five – FIVE – years to finish this art journal. There was so much procrastinating and so many lengthy breaks where it just sat abandoned on my art table. I have started and completed so many other art projects during that span of time but this particular journal and project was a malingerer. I am, therefore, very happy to have accomplished my art mission for this Summer break in finishing this journal.
For this last drawing, I took my inspiration from one of my sisters. When we were kids, she was really into Rainbow Brite. We never saw the show (did it even air in Britain?) but I had won three of the plush toys in a competition and, having no interest in them (I think I was 9 and had never been into dolls) I gave them to my sister. She absolutely loved them and expanded her collection. Anyway, my idea was to draw a less cartoony, less cutesy Rainbow Brite but there was a twist: I decided to challenge myself to create the illustration entirely from memory, without any visual references whatsoever. I actually remembered the costume pretty accurately in terms of the arms being comprised of stripes but with a preponderance of blue. I decided to steer away from the original costume while maintaining the stripes and translating it into a blockier design. Where I was completely adrift from the original character was with the hair. While I got the hairstyle right, I had completely misremembered the colour. I really believed her hair and been rainbow coloured but, nope, she was just blonde or ginger – depending on the incarnation. Never mind my memory fail because I actually like the rainbow hair for the purposes of my journal.
Incidentally, the washi tape is not really a compositional element, though I decided to let it peek through a thin layer of white paint. This poor art journal has taken a beating and some of the pages are separating from the binding. The tape was, therefore, entirely practical.
Although I am glad to be finally saying farewell to this project after all of these years, I am glad I undertook it. In some ways it has been useful that it took me so long because I can look at the early pages of this sketchbook and see how far I have progressed with my skills. For example, the way I draw faces has improved a lot. It also does work well as a record of my experiments with different colour combinations. There are many that I would use again. I have also learned that turquoise really does go with everything. However, I have also decided – especially in this past 18 months – that I am no longer very interested in mixed media. I definitely feel more “me” as an artist when I am using ink and watercolour and I think, whether chicken or egg, that my skills are far better in those media than they are with others. I am, therefore, going to focus on ink and watercolour going forward – while challenging myself to get better with gouache because pushing myself out of my creative comfort zone is never a bad thing.
I have lots of ideas for future art projects. I think I work most efficiently when I work on a series but what I am considering is running a few series at the same time, one that is simple I can work on on days when I have tiny portions of free time and one that is more involved. Once I figure it all out, I will be sharing that art over on Pict Ink. Stay tuned I guess.
Well done on finishing the project! I like your Rainbow Brite, though I had never heard of her before.
Thank you. I think Rainbow Brite was a very brief thing in Britain. I’m sure most people don’t remember it.
LOL…I may have seen her the other day in Walmart. Stranger things have happened.
Ha! True. So many bright colour options for hair these days.
Well done…wondering what you will be doing next. But don’t push yourself – go back over and review your accomplishments.
Thank you. That’s good advice. I think I’m going to have a lull until October as that month will be dedicated to Drawlloween.
Congratulations. And I read your reflections with interest. You’ve emerged with new confidence, it sounds like. The Rainbow journal has served a good purpose. Looking forward to seeing your new work.
Thank you. I think I’m going to have a bit of a lull now until October starts.
Bravo!!! Well done!!! Congratulations!!!
Love the colours, they say “energy” ! And the tape is balancing well the image…
PS: lately has become very difficult, complicated and counter intuitive to make comments on WP, I would like to comment more often…sorry, I know not your fault !
Thank you, Robert.
And I agree with you about various website interfaces upgrading to become less user friendly. Yes, I am also at an age and stage where I don’t enjoy having to relearn things over and over but I also think things should just be as simple as possible to make them more accessible.
A good friend suggested me to look at this as a way to keep my brain working 😊