Made Like No Other
This is my first collaboration with Mr. Shawn Hansen, who designed and built my website. This is his visualisation of a concept of mine, dedicated to my favourite Häagen-Dazs’ ice-creams – the cherry variety.
Please note that colour names are based on what I was mainly using, which were Caran d’Ache’s water-soluble crayons. I use these in a similar fashion to watercolours, as in I take pigment from the crayons with a damp brush, and then bring it to paper, rather than applying a wash over dry-coloured areas.
Also used here were Windsor & Newton watercolour tubes, Dr. Ph. Martins’ bleed-proof white ink, Dr. Ph. Martins’ concentrated watercolours, and Golden fluid acrylics.
Shawn’s vector lineart. I wanted a strong design foundation for tumbling rivers of cream, and what he delivered proved both inspiring and challenging.
The reference photo I modeled for, and provided Shawn to work with.
I printed out Shawn’s lineart in postcard size and placed it in a projector, to trace onto my desired work surface.
The time it took to clean up the draft was less than the actual tracing process, and much more enjoyable.
A flexible ruler was used for all those curved lines.
This is 18×24″ Arches hot press, drafted in 2H lead.
Underpainting of the woman, using purple. Her eye is a maroon of my own blend, mirroring the same colour used in Häagen-Dazs’ logo. Her lashes and brow are black.
The turquoise substance is Masquepen masking fluid, dried to a latex film.
Significant transformation here, which I hope illustrates the importance of underpainting.
I had that purple layer protected with workable fixative, before washing over it with ochre, and cadmium red on her lips.
The masking latex was removed, and I proceeded with going over the darkest darks using indigo.
Purple and indigo made up the first layer of those ice-cream scoops, which was then fixed, washed with yellowish gold, and the darkest areas retouched with indigo.
Although not shown in this image, I masked all those delicate flow lines with masking fluid, so that I could apply a wash of turquoise, carmine and lemon yellow at leisure, keeping those masked lines clean and white upon removal.
Her hair was finished at this stage, using my favourite prussian blue, and black.
The red of the cherries are Dr. Ph. Martins’ concentrated watercolours, or dyes. Their stems are vandyke brown and black.
Her lips were painted a deeper red using dyes.
The previous layer was protected with workable fixative. I splattered the background with masking fluid to imitate stars in the evening sky, then underwent a heavy pouring session to further develop the background. Please refer to the walkthrough of “A Slow Drift” for more details on the pouring technique.
At this stage I used dioxazine purple, magenta, and cadmium yellow.
I also spent two days with an X-ACTO blade, scraping those lines away to make them cleaner and a little wider.
The finer details were combed through, using white ink for the brightest highlights, and magenta to define the swirling splashes.
The painting is almost finished. I washed the entire surface with interference violet, which is a lovely medium under Golden’s fluid acrylics line. It makes it so the painting shimmers in purple from various angles, almost like a hologram.
I tried my hand at a “bokeh” effect by swirling a huge round brush soaked in diluted acrylics.
At this point, the letters that make up Häagen-Dazs’ slogan “Made Like No Other” were still protected with dried masking fluid. All that was left for me to do was paint them in a descending rainbow palette, and highlight the edges with white ink.
The finished piece can be viewed here in the site’s gallery.
I offer my thanks once again to Shawn for providing the starter to this painting.