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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week Two: Samurai by Scott Christian Sava

Trying a new medium out is NEVER an easy thing.

Doing it PUBLICLY is even less fun.

But...if there's one thing I'm's squeamish about failing.
And I failed HARD on this.

I started off with a simple thumbnail sketch of what I'd like to do.

Seemed simple enough. I had some good reference for Samurai armor.

I quickly started sketching on bristol board...

It was okay. I'd fix the rest in the final process.

Then I got out the watercolors and tried to be "loose" and "free" with the strokes.

Uh uh. Never happened.

Here's the final piece. I eventually gave up on it.
I just could not get the watercolor to comply with what I saw in my head.

Whenever I'd try to go over a base would "lift away" rather than "build up".
Not what I'm looking for.

Maybe I'll try Guache next. I'm told that might work better for me.

But that's the point of this...right? To keep sketching. To keep trying.

I've always worked in Prismacolor and markers (sometimes watercolor undertones) and the SECURITY of a medium that I've been using since College is enticing. Scott of 20 years old loved the feel of "pushing" a pencil over "pulling" a paintrbush. More control.

Pushing myself away from something that is second nature to me has been a real challenge.
I'm hoping through the weeks I can experiment and push myself to find a NEW medium that fits the Scott of 42 years old.

We'll see.

I hope you don't mind seeing a few more "failures" as I go along.

I'm sure there are many more to come...



  1. Scott,

    A "comfort zone" is a dangerous place to be in for too long, whether you're an artist, musician, general contractor or programmer (and everything in between). I, for one, applaud you for straying out of it without fear of failure.

    There a certainly some things that don't quite work in this image. But there's also quite a bit that does: the composition is simple and elegant (I love how he seems to be flowing out of the shadows), and the design on the armor is just plain neat. It's got a fascinating futuristic vibe to it, almost like the armor was pieced together out of bits of football equipment, biker armor, and anything else that was at hand.

    Bottom line - I dig the end result, and salute you for going outside of your comfort zone.

  2. ... I don' mind da crappy pitcher, yeah
    - bu' man, all dose words, yer killin' me blood!

  3. You know Scott - It never said in the rules this had to be ancient samurai or futuristic or present day imagery. I think you had some guts doing something outside your comfort zone man. I hate doing stuff on my ipad and showing it to people. Sadly, I had no other choice with Dean. I'll try something traditional this time around that doesn't take 15 minutes lol. However with you... I like it. If you ever go back to this idea, you'll have one hell of a springboard to launch yourself from.

    Although I don't totally agree with EGK on being in a comfort zone for long periods of time, I do agree it takes guts to break out and expand. I think little steps first generate huge leaps later in the evolution of an artist (at times) I think this is one of those baby steps that will launch you to something unimaginable, soon to come.

  4. Thanks for sharing the process! I think it's an awesome effort... I wish I had the guts to try watercolour! Well, maybe one of these weeks...

  5. Watercolour is one of the most difficult media to master. Good for you for taking the bull by the horns!

    Part of the difficulty might be the bristol board. Try doing something similar on watercolour paper.

    I wish my failures looked as good as yours.

  6. Thank you all!

    I wish I could say I wasn't disappointed.
    But trying to learn from this experience.

  7. I think the problem you were having with the paint lifting off is because bristol board isn't really designed for use with watercolor. It's too slick a surface and the binder in the watercolor is probably too weak for it to stick. Watercolor paper, though, has a more cloth-like surface, so the color absorbs right into it. I think gouache might have the same problem on bristol board, too, though I don't know for certain. It's basically watercolor pigment mixed with white to make it opaque, but the consistency is still similar to plain watercolor. If you do experiment with it, try using more pigment with less water, or try different paper types. I think if you find the right combination of materials, you could totally nail this as a watercolor piece!

  8. I really enjoy seeing your work progression. It inspires me to spend more time thinking about what I'm about to do instead of just going right into it.

  9. Suzi!
    Thank you. Maybe I should try this on Watercolor paper. I do have some...but have always liked the texture of bristol board.

    Maybe there's hope for watercolor yet?

  10. Scott, look for hot-pressed watercolor paper.
    It has the smoothest surface with no tooth, so it might be similar enough to bristol board for you to work on.