Monday, January 19, 2015

"We Have Always Lived in the Castle", Shirley Jackson

I recently finished reading a collection of short stories by Shirley Jackson which included "We have Always Lived in the Castle". I wanted to read "The Lottery" which I also enjoyed but the imagery from this story haunted me. Its a strange story about a family devastated by a terrible event. The two sisters in the story are just barely holding onto their lives.  Anyway, I would highly recommend Shirley Jackson's work.  The piece below is loosely based on that story.

I've been wanting to show some of my process and my beginning sketches are fairly rough. Sometimes I will make several sketches in sketchbooks and on the computer.  At this point I just want to get my ideas down so I don't loose them.

   Then I will scan the image (at 300 dpi, although at this rough state it doesn't really matter) and start thinking about color, value, and composition a little more.  I want to add more detail but I need to get things sorted out first.

I do a lot of thinking, observing and sketching, studying image of houses, wheelchairs, anything I might want to include in the image.  I look at images online, in art history books, anywhere.  I have found that I can look at many different images combining parts and create something unique. 
Then I use those sketches to create the more refined image.  

Working in painter or Photoshop, I will build the image up from a loose rough painting to a more complete image.  I've been meaning to do value studies on the computer with my work, I think it could help speed up my process. With this image I converted the early image to grey in Photoshop to check the values I had created. It was pretty interesting and made me feel more secure with the color choices I was making.
As you can see I made lots of changes to the image from the initial sketch.  The spacing of the figures in the original sketch didn't quite work logically so I opened it up to show the girl fleeing the scene more clearly. I created this image in Painter 2015 using as few layers as possible, flattening as I went. I think working in just one or two layers at a time, keeps the process similar to traditional painting.
copyright 2015 Teresa Wiles

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