Go Big, then Get Small

Kavad 4.8 - 3rd Face of Libra The Third Face of Libra has a lot going for it — for one, a lot of the original sources all agree on the bow and arrows thing; for another, there’s a lot of suggestions of sexual impropriety, and a guy with the head of a (ahem) horse has a range of meanings.

Naturally, I’ve screwed up.  I’ve put the bow, and consequently, the main figure’s arm, in the wrong place.  This one is going to have to be redesigned at some point.  But I like the idea of the reclining man with a wineglass and a loaf of bread in hand.  Can I work it into the final version that goes on the kavad?  Hard to know for sure… these pictures are 4″ wide by about 11″ tall — there’s lots of space to work in.  On the kavad, the space is maybe 1.5″ by 4″. That means a lot of the data from these big images is going to have to be compressed down.

Why didn’t I start out by making the windows in my sketchbook the same size as the windows on the kavad? Maybe you’re wondering that.  (Maybe I am, too.)

But the core reason should be obvious — I’m working through a traditional system of learning, and working through a traditional system of training artists. If I jumped right to the crafting of an image, I wouldn’t understand what I was painting or drawing. What is essential here? Do you know?  Do I know, without drawing it?  How will you draw it at a tiny scale, if you’ve never even seen the image before?  And so I draw them large, to figure out what I must know about the image before I try to make it tiny.

There’s a learning process at work here, and to avoid it is to short-circuit your own learning process. Don’t do it.

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