Saturday, April 2, 2011
This pen and ink illustration was done in the early ‘90s. It flowed off the pen on a lucky session at the drawing board--as if it came straight from the Astral Plane. The colorization below was done last week in several strenuous spurts at the computer. Granted, I am new to Photoshop, and an experienced hand could have done all my moves more quickly; but I believe that the scintillating effects, for all the effort they entailed, don’t enhance the original concept a great deal. It’s nice to have brilliant, translucent colors at one’s fingertips. But the “Zen” of pen and ink is down and dirty watercolor, done in colors far more subdued. Intuition, which is the driving motive of such playful and enjoyable work, seemed to be taking a back seat to computer technology. This new specimen is more illustration than cartoon, so the impact suffers. To paraphrase the old saying, “The soul of wit is brevity, i.e., simplicity of means. ”
Even my houseplants are telling me that the old must make way for the new. This brilliant palette has the look of modern graphics, just as the aesthetic I’m comfortable with has a diminishing audience. Luckily I have a friend who is going to teach me about “layers.” Moral: If you’re arguing with yourself, you can’t lose.