Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Number two, The Misty Mountain (Not Tolkien!)

The second smaller illustration for the i-ching was to be a mountain path ascending up through the mists. As luck would have it I found a great sketch I had done, but not yet used, of Tryfan. A great grey shattered peak of a mountain in North Wales. It rears like a broaching whale above Llyn Ogwen and I had sketched it from below the main road and included the bridge so with a bit of judicious photoshoppery majigerry, Tryfan was stretched up to mountain of heaven proportions, I then redrew the bridge to make it a bit more 'Chinese' and put a winding path in and then 'bigged'up the river that runs under the bridge. The actual river Ogwen is concealed by the cut it runs in but I wanted a rushing mountain stream so lifted it right up and made it foam and splash. It was also a good way to take the eye into the composition and accentuate the path/steps by separating them out from the main body of the picture.

Initially the path started with steps just in the immediate foreground with the idea that you went out of the picture and back in again at the bridge to suggest the winding nature of the path.  The client then decided they wanted it a bit more obvious that the steps in the foreground connected directly to the bridge and up the mountain.
Rough 2:

 Steps wind up to the bridge and the cliff on the edge has gone. This does have the added bonus of making the main mountain seem higher. Mmmm steps a bit too erm steppy and maybe too easy! How about more of a rough path to suggest the hard and worthy work involved. Mmmm what about that bridge? Too bridgey maybe? Maybe it should be more of a rough mountain track all au natural. yes lose the bridge!
Rough 3:

Path rough and stoney, bridge, one of my favourite bits, transformed cunningly into a natural arch and the difficult path switch backing up the mountain accentuated. That's it, perfect!

This was a two colour print, with a graduation in the layers to add more variety and depth.  I do like the background mountains emerging from the mist in a paler colour. Was a nice chance to experiment with rubbing out part of the ink to knock that part of the print back and also try the cutting of the mountain sides in lines to suggest the form. Overall a happy client.

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