Art: “Stuck in the city, dreaming of open spaces” diptych (step by step)

It’s my third piece with acrylic paint markers – I am loving it <3

“Stuck in the city, dreaming of open spaces” diptych.
I borrowed the first image to the so very talented Tom Haugomat and imagined the other.

I used a stamping technique using bits of foam, and cut out tracing paper to use as masking to stamp the sky around mountains.

Masking tape on a paper pad to create two areas. I've sketched in pencil the silhouette of a woman, trees and low vegetation at her sides and some shapes for building. The sky is coloured using ink stamps which are visible on my curring board: two tones of orange, two of blue, two of pink.

Pencil sketch of the upper part of the diptych.

I applied ink with foam to colour the dusk sky.

I started to apply two tones of blue with acrylic paint markers to depict the city buildings and the ground.

I used acrylic paint markers to cover the pencil marks.

I drew nearly the same drawing in the lower part with woman and trees but the background is made of two white mountains. I painted the trees silhouettes in shades of blue, added some pale green for the highlights.

The lower part of the diptych has roughly the same drawing at dusk too.

Instead of the cityscape, the woman stands in front of snowy mountains.

The two parts are done with a few highlights in orange. The masking tape is still in place.

Close-up version of the two parts before removing the masking tape.

Finished piece, signed and dated, framed in black wood with a white mounting card.
Finished piece, signed and dated, framed in black wood with a white mounting card.

Art: Art Deco ad for Herkules Bier (step by step)

I’m experimenting with two things: Art Deco which is a style I absolutely LOVE, and acrylic paint markers. The opaque and consistent colours they achieve lend themselves very well to this type of highly contrasted art.

This is after an Art Deco ad for Herkules Bier from the 1930s.

Masking tape on a small pad of watercolour sheets (the size of a large postcard), pencil sketch of a muscular man flexing his biceps. My mechanical pencil and rubber are on the cutting mat next to the drawing.

Pencil sketch.

I started painted the head, neck, shoulder and part of the left arm. The markers I used are on the cutting board: black, bright orange, pale orange, pink-orange and pale yellow.

It’s a very zen thing to apply patches of colours in various spots and try to achieve gradients. So far so good.

All colours and shadows are done, with the same markers.

Finished! I used only four shades of yellow to orange, and black. All I need to do now is apply a pale blue layer as background.

I fixed several proportion problems that became obvious the next day 🙃

One shoulder was visibly smaller than the other, the neck was not in the center and the waistline was too thin (it is notable that in the reference image, the waistline was too thin and the neck wasn’t exactly centered either.) Here is the fixed version which I framed:

Finished version with a light blue background, which I signed and dated, and framed in black wood.

I was researching this particular ad to learn more about its history and who created it but I didn’t find a lot of hits. However I found a comical review someone wrote about it in an Art Deco book that features this image:

“On page 89 is an ad for Herkules Bier “aus dem Hasenbrau-Augsburg.” The sinister, leviathanic, muscle-bound, fist-clenched figure uses one of the hallmarks of Art Deco—deep shadow to enhance contrast—to convey a message as self-contradictory as it is threatening: Drink this and it won’t go to your belly, it will build the muscle of Germany. Rage is power, and watch out you fops of Versailles.”