Friday, January 28, 2011

More illustrations for the horse book. The author wanted a couple of ancient art pieces, depicted in paint for clarity and emphasis. The first, an image from a cave wall, was fairly easy and fun to do...

The other was a particular section of the Bayeux Tapestry--she wanted it bright, and bold, as though we were seeing it freshly-embroidered, so a photograph wouldn't do, even if good detail shots were available on the cheap (which they're not).

I have a pretty good sense of how quickly I can paint something of a certain size, and had this been a painting of a photographed scene, I could have done it in a day-and-a-half's long work. So I had presumed, after an cursory examination of the Tapestry's simple forms and limited palette, that this would go even quicker.

I couldn't have been more wrong. Turns out replicating another person's gesture, spindly lines, and erratic color choice, on a mostly two-dimensional image that is just textured enough to catch light like a three-dimensional object...well, it's a different set of challenges. So four days later, still not altogether satisfied with the result, I'm feeling a little humbled. Here's how it went, anyway:


  1. Love your interpretation of the Chauvet cave. Maybe while you're working on the tapestry you can think of yourself as a monk hunched over a desk working away on an illuminated manuscript. How romantic, though not very comfortable.

  2. Thanks, Hilary!

    Believe me, when I'm working at home, it doesn't take much imagination to picture myself in a robe, hunched over an obsessively-detailed page in a dimly-lit cave. :)