Sunday, January 10, 2016

Prep Work

Iconography used to be a very impromptu affair for me.  I would find some source icons on the internet, make a drawing taking bits from all the icons that I liked (generally making up the folds as I went along) and generally imitating their color schemes, even though I did very little prep work to get them. Generally I relied on putting my emotions into my work to carry it over any technical deficiencies. And, for the first nine years, that was enough for me. The icons were beautiful in their own way and moved people to prayer. But, after the last year where I produced four icons, I realized that I needed to do more than just fly by the seat of my pants. I wanted something that was balancced, grounded, while still retaining the things about the style I've slowly developed over the years.

The first thing I've started doing is actually using my iconography manuals. I've gotten several of the patternbooks and occasionally used them if I couldn't find anything on the internet that I liked. But it finally hit me why I had these books in the first place: the lack of color allows me to focus on the actual lines that I need to draw.The books exist becuase there's a time for colors but there's a time for lines. Without the lines color can't be shaped and used properly to direct the mind back inward to the Inner Kingdom. So, it's time to start looking at those much more attentively.

Not that there isn't a place for colors. If anything that means that I need to plan it even more carefully. And by plan it carefully I mean work out the colors and leave them there for me to see, annotating what colors I used and  how I used them. I now have a dedicated board for the express purpose of putting down colors to see how they interact with each other.  I then leave the colors on the board so I can actually see what I'm working off of.

I'm sure there's more prep I can do, but for the moment this is what I've got. I'm not a very prep-oriented person, but it's best to work everything out before putting it on the board. While the actual experience of being at the board is worth being excited over it's best to be ready for it. It helps develop my patience and that's never a bad thing.

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