Tag: Art Nouveau

Unknown Nouveau: Gaspar Camps

While I’m busy grinding away braincells on Lady of July ‘s many flower buds, I wanted to introduce you to another Art Nouveau artist I had never heard of!  Gaspar Champs hailed from Spain and spent a large part of his career in France.  He was very heavily influenced by Mucha, so much so that he became known as the ‘Catalan Mucha’.

Like my previous feature of Élisabeth Sonrel , I love how Camps brought his own unique flair to Alphonse Mucha’s line style.  At times, Camps’ work feels more abstract with his figures melting into the details of his images.

I also love the sense of light bouncing in his more painterly work.  What a joy it was to discover him!

If you want to see more of these art features, view them all at once here .

SKETCH DIARY: Lady of June

My journey continues this month with Lady of June!  Lady of November represented a milestone of high quality and attention to detail in this series that was hard to beat!  How could I make the rest of the Ladies as good as November?  That was the difficult challenge I set for myself as I moved on to this month and ventured into the first of the Ladies of summertime!

After the dark whimsy of Lady of November, we’ve returned to the Ladies of Summer!  Admittedly, this Lady has been a challenge thus far.  While November had a lot of amazing imagery to play with, June is more of a subtle time of year.  Its celebration of youthfulness and young brides reminds of May’s themes, with one of the only unique events being the Summer Solstice.  I’ve been struggling to find Lady of June’s unique visual story to make her different enough from the other Ladies, but that’s what research is all about!

MOOD BOARD

One of the most prominent themes I found while researching the Summer Solstice via Pinterest image gathering was the celebration of Litha and the Sun Wheel.  The Solstice celebrates the reigning power of the Sun.  The Sun Wheel was an old tradition where a representation of the sun was set aflame and rolled down a hill to symbolize its shifting phases.  As soon as I saw the Wheel, I knew it’d be the perfect inspiration for the mandala window!

RESEARCH NOTES

Research for the Ladies always begins with the origin of the month’s name.  In this case, June was named for Juno, the goddess of marriage and well-being of women.  She was also wife to Jupiter/Zeus.  I look across different cultures and see what about this time of year strikes a chord with humanity.  June in the northern hemisphere is a high point of Summer, a time of divination, and a powerful phase of feminine power.

Writing notes helps me to search out the imagery and symbolism I want to include in this Lady’s painting.  I think of flowers, plants, and brides.  The symbol of the well as a tool of divination also struck a chord with me, which is why it shows up so much in my thumbnail sketches.


 THUMBNAIL SKETCHES

Many of these thumbnails explore using water in a well or pond as a divination tool.  2 and 4 feel a little close to Lady of March, with 4 feeling a bit more like a representation of Vanity.  3 captures a more traditional bridal theme, while 1, 5, 6, and 7 seem to capture that theme of a bride searching for her love in the reflection for a more unified theme.  In the end, my favorites are 1, 5, and 6, with 5 and 6 having the clearest shapes and classical feel.

Character Posing

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SKETCH DIARY: Lady of November

My journey continues with Lady of November!  I’ve been looking forward to this Lady for quite some time, being a November birthday, myself!  She’s a very special Lady who challenged me more than any of the others had before with the ambitious ideas I wanted to implement.

November, November!  I’ve been looking forward to this month for a while, not only because it is my own birth month, but because it represents my favorite time of year – Autumn and a time of spooks and spirits!  I decided to skip ahead in this series so that I might be able to finish some of the later Ladies by the time I reached the end of this year.  But never fear, the other Ladies of the summertime will be explored come next year!

Mood Board

mood-board-lady-of-november-lowres

Lady of November’s mood board on Pinterest.

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SKETCH DIARY: Lady of April

My journey continues this month with Lady of April!  Lady of March broke through creative boundaries with her unique imagery and presentation.  That once again made the pressure high for Lady of April! I had to work through art block with this piece, but in the end, powering my way through equaled something grand!

Brainstorming:

lady-of-april---notes
My research began initially with some overlap with Easter, since Easter is a movable feast that can take place in March or April.  I initially thought I’d make March and April inverted twins of sorts, but I moved away from this idea by the end, though you’ll notice both Ladies still stand in water, representing renewal.

Over the course of my research, I discovered the festival of Demeter which is a famous April celebration.  Women dressed in white take torches into the dark of night, representing Demeter searching for her daughter, Persephone, the goddess of Spring.

I also noticed many cultures in the northern hemisphere take this time of year to honor trees with arbor festivals.  In the end, the imagery of fire, light, and the growth of trees that came up during research helped April to emerge in her final form.

You’ll notice in some of the thumbnails pictured below, I represented Easter by including rabbits, symbols of fertility and light bringers, though I eventually moved away from this imagery in favor of focusing on the Lady holding a tree, evoking her as a giver of life and promoter of growth.  In the end, I preferred this unique imagery over repeating Easter’s themes.

 

Reference Gathering:
A mood board helps organize my muse’s random visions into something I can translate into my painting.

lady-of-april---mood-board-lowres
A peek at a small section of Lady of April’s secret board on Pinterest. Read more

SKETCH DIARY: Lady of January

This series began as my annual Christmas card back in 2012 and as a homage to Mucha’s stunning series “The Precious Stones”!  I’m a long time fan of Alphonse Mucha ever since I discovered his work years ago in college and fell in love with his graceful, intricate compositions.  I thought it’d be fun to challenge myself to an entire series in this detailed and decorative mode of work.  The Lady of December sat alone as the only entry into this series until I recently decided to pick it up again!

The Four Gemstones by AngelaSasser

“The Precious Stones” Female figures embodying the gemstones Ruby, Amethyst, Emerald, and Topaz.

Lady of December by AngelaSasser
“Lady of December,” Digital Painting, 2012.

I had tried to do a monthly series before in the form of a series of angels, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with the layout of the composition of the first entry in this series.  The window and the figure felt disconnected, while the background seemed too empty with too much wasted potential.

Angel of January by AngelaSasser
“Lady of January,” Digital Painting, 2011.

 

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Sketch Diary – The Gift Giver Part 1 – Concepts

It’s that time of year again!  Yes, that glorious time where I rush to finish my yearly Christmas card at the last minute!  Folks seemed to enjoy last year’s sketch diary for Lady Snowflake so I thought I’d document this year’s card in much the same fashion.

It all began with trying to figure out what I wanted to do this year!  Poinsettias?  Candles?  Holly leaves?  There are so many visual motifs to play with for the season!  I put up a poll on DeviantART asking what folks have enjoyed the best and art nouveau ladies won out!  It’s true, I admit my favorite Christmas card is still the 2nd one I ever did, entitled “Holiday Nouveau”.  I wanted to bring some of the warmth and style of this piece into the newest card.  Plus, I had never used big shiny packages and bows in a card before!   There’s nothing like beautifully wrapped presents to bring cheer and excitement to the season.

With art nouveau ladies and shiny packages in mind, thumbnailing began!
 
 
Out of all of these thumbnails, the top two resonated with me the most. They have the most interesting visual flow and dynamic posing.  The top right ended up being the winner for the fact it’s completely different than all of my previous cards, as well as the fact there is more interaction between the figure and the presents, giving it more of an active story in the piece rather than ‘dainty lady posing with packages’.

 

Mizzd-stock‘s beautiful holiday stock also lent a hand in inspiring me for this gal’s attire:
Such beautiful hair and costume! I’m sure to bring in some of
these motifs into the finished piece.

 

Next, I brought the thumbnail into Photoshop and sketched directly on top of it digitally.  It took a good deal of fiddling with window shapes before I arrived at this simple single rounded archway vignette.
 
 
The flow of the piece is doing what I want to it to right now, but the anatomy and awkward angle on the torso were completely baffling me!  So I took a few reference shots of my own to try and get a more solid grip on the anatomy.  I also set up a light on the floor to act as an unearthly glow in the faerie’s skin.
 
Sadly, I am neither thin nor faerie-like, so I’ll need to do some anatomy tweaking while I’m referencing this in my piece later.
 
And that’s it for the conceptualization phase!  Stay tuned! I’ll be blogging my progress throughout the week and hope to have this finished by next weekend. Wish me luck!
 
I’m gonna need it!