Thursday, 13 November 2014

Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, is a joyful Mexican holiday to celebrate and honour the lives of loved ones who have departed. The holiday's origins date back nearly 4000 years! It takes place on the 1st and 2nd of November each year.

What started out as a quick art piece turned out to be a very personal tribute. The three butterflies represent the three family members that I have loved and lost with one red rose for each of them. In paying homage to the Mexican tradition of using yellow orange marigold flowers, I included these in the bodice of her dress and in the decoration around her eyes. The imagery of the skulls in the butterflies and pendant are a representation of times past and of change. I didn't want to make up her face too elaborately, so as not to take away from her gentle reflective mood.

I was hoping to finish and post this 4x6 copic marker artwork during the days of a de los Muertos but I was finding it difficult to blend the original copics I had on hand. After a quick search online, I realised that I needed extra colours within the colour families to allow for smoother blending. I had to wait until I purchased some copic ciaos, the only type the craft store stocked. If you have not heard of copics, they are double-ended alcohol-based dye ink markers.

With any new art materials I am not familiar with, I have to practice and experiment with them in order to see what they are capable of, and what cool effects I can possibly achieve with them.

In hindsight (always a wonderful thing!) I made mistakes with this copic artwork. I think my problem was that I tried to take the same approach with the markers as I would with paint. To pull it all together, I had to resort to using a white sharpie paint pen to correct or add highlights here and there. However, I will use the copics again, but this time in more of a mixed media context.

Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Until next time, Happy Creating!

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