Another painting from senior year that fits with my thesis on art for the theatre, this is a retro-styled poster for the musical Chicago.
Here I am show-casing the main character, Roxie Hart. I wanted to add several elements from the musical, such as the stage, and Chicago night life in the 1920’s. But because the women in Chicago are deadly, I also added some jail bars into the set.
Painted in watercolor and colored pencil on cold press watercolor paper.
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This painting is more concept art, but this time for the musical “Into the Woods.” This musical, if you haven’t seen it before, takes all of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and combines them into one great big story. Cinderella is a major character in the play, and as you know, her mother has died and she is forced to live with her evil stepmother and step sisters, having no fun being deprived of her right to attend the ball/festival. You may not know, if you are only familiar with the Disney version, that Cinderella doesn’t have a magical godmother, but instead she has a magic tree. You see, when Cinderella’s mother died she was buried at a gravesite in the woods. Cinderella visited that grave everyday and cried there, and her tears watered the ground, prompting the slow growth of a magic tree. On the night of the festival, the magic tree speaks to Cinderella while she is sobbing over her mother’s grave, and offers her a dress and slippers with which allow her entrance to the festival.
To execute this painting I dressed a friend up in garb from my extensive costume collection, and photographed her under a beautiful vine covered tree. The whole painting was done in watercolors, except for a few small details in the magic bubbles which surround the tree.
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For the next few weeks I will be blogging about the individual pieces that made up my senior exhibition. In no particular order, I would like to start with this re-imagining of Audrey II, the monster from the musical ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ For my senior project I choose to make a large chunk of art about theatre. This piece is new concept art for a classic musical theatre character. Audrey II has been interpreted on the stage in many different ways, but in my opinion, the large costumes always felt a little too stiff for the character; bulky is a word that comes to mind. I wanted to reinterpret Audrey II with a more fluid, animated look. Longer, leaner vines and a totally new silhouette makes the plant feel more graceful in its movements even if the mechanics of operating a costume like this will always be a little awkward. Audrey II is a predator, and a very smart one, and so I think he should like a smooth and cunning carnivore.
I also wanted to take more visuals from actual carnivorous plants in my design. I have seen Audrey II on the stage with huge, white, shiny teeth, which clearly belong to an animal, not a plant. I don’t care if he is from outer-space, I think that this intelligent plant should look like it took a similar evolutionary track as our earth plants, and the big shark teeth just aren’t working for me. So I did a little research, and adapted the ridges, grooves, markings, colors, spines, and vines from carnivorous plants alive on earth today.
The painting itself was executed with watercolor on cold press paper. For reference, I built a model of my initial sketches with clay, then lit and photographed my sculpture. Overall I had a fantastic time painting this piece. Painting monsters is liberating because they can look anyway we want them to; there is no right or wrong with a monster. I never paint very scary things but I think I may want to continue incorporating supernatural creatures into my work.
You can view this and other brand new illustrations in my color illustration portfolio.
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