Wednesday, October 9, 2013


The brainstorming for this piece actually started way back with the "pairs" piece.  As I was thinking of things that came in pairs, I thought of wings, which made me think of the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus.  (If you don't know this story, look it up!  This piece doesn't make a lot of sense without the backstory :)) I drew a little sketch of Icarus, falling out of the sky, but I decided that pears were much funnier and forgot about Icarus until it was time for my third project.  I just had a really cool picture of Icarus in my head that I wanted to put on paper.  Only problem was, it was kind of more of a movie than a picture so I wasn't sure exactly what I was going for.  I found a LOT of pictures on the interwebs of Icarus falling out of the sky.
Yay for references!
  The original plan was a realistic-ish drawing in colored pencil or something.

Haha. He has teeny feet.

 After sketching that out, I remembered one teeny detail... Realism is NOT my thing.  Not when it comes to bodies!  To avoid major frustration I decided to wayyy simplify my idea.  Anyways, I was kind of tired of all the "falling out of the sky" pictures too.... I wanted to show a different perspective, with Icarus sinking deeper into the water once he's fallen into the sea.  Sort of inspired by Matisse, I sketched up a silhouette of Icarus.
Icarus by Henry Matisse, 1947

The theme of this piece is "Over the Edge," which is a reference to the myth.  I thought it would be way cool to draw Icarus in crayon, then crumple him up and use watercolor over the top.  (Inspired by the super cool art project that everyone else got to do in middle school, but somehow I missed it.)  I liked the way the dark color cracked across his body gives a kind of broken, maybe even burnt feeling.  In this way it connects to the original myth of Icarus--he flew too close to the sun and got pretty burnt up.

Icarian Sea
It's really not as washed out as it looks in this picture... In fact, I painted several layers on to get the deep color I was going for to imply he's sinking.  This paper soaked up water in a weird way so that it dried significantly lighter than it was when wet.  I ended up using hardly any water with my watercolor to get the tone I needed.
The final piece is about 6"x18".  Here are some more photos so you can see the color/texture:
The color here is a bit closer to the actual color of the top of the piece

Yay! Texture!

Can you see the bubbles? :)
I used some salt around the figure to suggest bubbles.  Because I wanted it to crumple, I used regular drawing paper instead of watercolor paper, so it warped and got a bit beat up.  The topic I chose is texture, so I actually like that element :)

Overall I'm pretty happy with the way this one turned out.  It's titled "Icarian Sea" after the sea into which Icarus fell in the myth of Icarus and Daedalus.

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