Sunday, March 27, 2011

Collaboration in Illustration. Mail Art Style.

This week a friend of mine from my Alma Mater Academy of Art invited me to be part of a painting collaboration. "A TRAVELING COLLABORATION PROJECT BETWEEN ARTISTS OF EVERY MEDIUM FROM ALL OVER THE STATES. IT WILL FOLLOW EACH WOODEN PANEL AS IT TRAVELS FROM ARTIST TO ARTIST, SO CHECK OFTEN FOR UPDATES AND PREVIEWS AND THANKS FOR BEING A PART OF THIS- WHETHER YOU ARE PARTICIPATING, OR YOU'RE JUST AN INNOCENT BYSTANDER..." Quoted from Leanne Rodriguez at travocollabo.blogspot.com
Lowrider Sloth,My contribution to a previously painted panel. ©Forest Stearns
I received the piece below, in the mail the other day and this weekend I was able to add some signature style. It is always fun to add to the conversation of a piece, trying to push the composition and develop a focal point without killing the previous artists' intentions. I have never meet the 2 artists Sarah Hollaback and Elizabeth Amento that started this piece. It was exciting to open the over sized box and find such a colorful and energetic painting in the works!  It was a pleasure to ponder the possibilities of what to add.
This is the state of the painting when it arrived.
I went to work sketching ideas that were traveling in my brain. The composition looked like an explosion so I wanted to do a piece that would both calm the chaos and ground the focal point. Sloths on lowriders started arriving almost without invitation to the pages of my sketch book. The writing is an added pointless bonus.
Multiple layers and pages of practice in the book ©Forest Stearns

Taking bits from multiple sketches I started on the panel. 


From here I love to get to work with mid tone lay-in lines, then cutback with a value pattern of local hues. 

Mid tone lines and painted cut backs ©Forest Stearns


Then comes the black line work to develop the focal point. 

Choice of focal point and development of contrast. ©Forest Stearns
With that decided all I have to do is develop a light source and add some yummy core shadows
Juicy details and saturated core shadows. ©Forest Stearns
He turned out to be a happy little guy. I love the feeling of riding a lowrider bike and just cruising. The posture is always so stretched out and stylized that it is perfect for a sloth. 


I am excited to see who is next and what they have to add to the mix.