Sunday, November 2, 2008
More Farm People!
I have to say that this project is so much fun! I try to spend as little time on it as I am engrossed in the Book of Life project but it is such a treat to render these creatures and a great way to blow off steam. I do have to reference photos for animal conformation and I just love period clothing from the twenties and thirties. In my undergrad years at the Corcoran, we had a professor that did hours at a local library. Amazingly, there was a lot of turn over in their stacks. She would bring in boxes and boxes of books that were not popular or damaged. I got quite a few priceless books from those piles. One of them that I have been using for reference for period clothing is titled "A True Likeness (The Black South of Richard Samuel Roberts: 1920-1936)." There are such a diversity of images in that book. One page is a couple decked out in lavish furs and suits, another is a baby in a wash basin, another would be a family of share croppers, another might be a death portrait. It's a great book to check out.
This project is not only rewarding because I get to decide which animals and breeds I will be doing but it's also fun to decide what they will wear! This dapper gentleman has a watch fob because I figured that nothing would be more attractive to a chicken than a sparkly watch fob and spectacle chain. I love how his saddle feathers drape over his folded "arm".
I wanted the bull to look sharp and snappy for obvious reasons that he is the "ruler" of the farm. There is a reason that every farmer tells you not to "mess with the bull." The problem I've run into is that other than his spats, your can't really tell he has on period clothing. There is not enough room on my block for a fedora. This brings me to the conclusion that they must've gotten it spot on in the twenties if a snappy men's suit hasn't changed much since then! I'm curious to see how it will turn out because I want his suit to be a dark pin stripe with a white tie. It will be an Angus (black) bull so I hope the image won't turn out too dark. I'm not that worried.
There was a lot of unconscious imagery going on in the broodie hen image. Halfway through drawing it I realized that I was referencing my grandmother for the imagery. As a good southern family, we went to church every Sunday when I was growing up and my sister and I had to ALWAYS wear a slip or petticoat. Kids don't care about their appearance and my grandmother or mother was always tugging at our skirts hissing "Your petticoat is showing!" In her later years, we always teased our grandmother about that when her skirt was accidentally hitched up. I hated those damn things. Anyway, there were three of us kids and she was always scolding and clucking after us like a broodie hen.....a smoking, swearing broodie hen. Ah, the south! A petticoat under the hen's scalloped dress would have been too repetitious so I dressed her up in pantaloons. Believe it or not, some people still wore those things in the 80's. Not my grandma. Those are definitely her legs though because she always wore shoes like that.
Lastly, I cracked up the whole time I was drawing this one. Surprisingly, it was hard to find good swine images through Google Images. I was looking for the old fashioned images you used to find of hogs with folds in their faces and their ears flopping over. Mostly what I was finding were images of industry standard pigs. I didn't realize that different breeds were bred for certain things like bacon vs. ham. All you vegetarians out there cover your ears. People don't realize the danger of picking only one breed of animal to provide the world's meat and risking inbreeding and genetic degeneration. I'll go off on that tangent later. Not only was their a lack of diversity but there were also images mixed in under titles that were not what I was looking for. "Fat hog face" search brought up more images of human women than pigs.....anyways. I scraped a few (two) images off the internet and went on memory. An interesting thing I found out in making my fat hog look more piggish is that I didn't realize that the animal had such an upturned jaw. This got more pronounced as it gained weight and shoved folds of fat onto its face. The belly with the cinched pants button was not hard to draw. You see a lot of that in America and I admit I've been there myself. My big old fatty-fat piggy was hilarious to draw!
I can't wait to do more!