Monday 23 December 2019

Work in progress: The Green Man series

For the longest time, in my first ideas book after finishing University I have had scribblings of series which are still patiently waiting to be realised. Every year I declare I’m going to finally start on my own Green Man series and do justice to these nature spirits I dreamed the faces of so many years ago. And every year things happen, other ideas crop up and I continue to keep them on the back burner.

But as this year drew to a close I decided enough was enough. I started working on progressing my thumbnail sketches into full size line work, and then onto paper, returning to my most common mixed media technique using biro and watercolour (as opposed to my recent dip pen experiments).

One daunting issue with this series has always been the sheer number of ideas I have. If I work on them all the series will be mammoth! So I’ve decided to be selective (for now) and initially work on what I’m calling ‘the four seasons’. It’s quite frustrating as I really want to realise a lot of the other characters, but that may have to be a battle for another day!

Because of the detail involved in these pieces they are proving very time consuming. Never one to make life easy for myself I decided to also incorporate some knotwork in the form of borders as a nod to our Celtic history and pre-Christian traditions and beliefs in Britain. This has proved a real challenge and is somewhat unforgiving if you make any errors. Complete precision is essential but tough. I can see why manuscript scholars claimed they would put one error on each page because only god is perfect, it’s near impossible not to make one! (Good cover story lads!)

So far with these pieces I’ve gotten a lot of pen work done, but as ever with this time of year there’s so few hours of daylight in which to work, making moving onto my watercolour layer difficult indeed.
I’m hoping that now with the passing of midwinter and the lengthening of days once more I can begin to get some colour into the pieces and truly bring them to life!

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