This is my take on the theme 'Peacock' for this week's APR challenge at Artist's Play Room. A reluctant start because I couldn't think of a way to make the subject my own. So I followed my usual practice, when I went to bed, of telling my brain to put the subject in the back of my mind to think about while I slept and come up with an idea in the morning.
If you've never tried this technique, I do recommend it - it works for me. As soon as I woke I realised that I could take the idea of a peacock's feather in an Art Nouveau-ish direction, Art Nouveau with my own twist.
So many people love to own one or more peacock feathers, and I'm no exception. I have a few large, medium and small, living in a plastic folder with all my other feathers, so that everything gets rather battered. This one is 7" long, and I love the way the perfection of the feather has been disorganised.
I thought you might be interested in the stages I worked through to achieve the final result.
I imagined the design as a piece of gold and enamel jewellery, a brooch or a pendant, and quickly sketched a rough drawing of the main part of the feather to work through my vision.
I needed an oval shape to surround it, and as luck would have it there was a plastic dish from a mushroom paté on my desk, just the right size. My first attempt at placing it over the drawing was not quite right right and the oval needed to be lowered for my next stage of the drawing.
You can just about see in the sketch the parts I have crossed out as unwanted and to be ignored.
Using the same sketch, I erased the oval as well as I could and positioned it more accurately by drawing the outline on tracing paper. I then used a Pitt Artist's pen to draw on the sketch the lines that would give me a better idea of what I actually wanted for the final design.
I then erased all the pencil marks so that I could see the drawing more clearly and experimented with colours from my kiddie's set of lovely sparkly gel pens. It has definitely gone wilder than Art Nouveau, and it's gone past being something that could make a piece of jewellery, but I'm ready for the final stage.
I re-drew the design in a different sketchbook with better quality paper.
My initial sketch showed that I had too many curving strands, and the design needed more space and air within it. The strands are not exactly as in my sketch, but placed where and how they felt right.
OK, I made a few mistakes about the design here and there, and because I had a 'shaky hand day' my drawing and colouring were not perfect. But I'm about enjoyment these days, not about perfection.
The lovely sparkle of the gel pens is not very clear on the photo above, so here's a pic where Dev held the drawing at an angle to catch the sun as I took the photo and you can see it a little more clearly.