A commission acrossed time and space. 一张穿越时空的订件。

Someone told me that she wished to hang my drawing on her new home's wall. Then she send me the photo of the repainted wall and size (luckily, no deadline). The size was 15X19 inches, it was the largest size that I had been commissioned for the last 3 years. I was so excited and got to started immediately.

有人对我说(原话我怎么也想不起来),家里新装修完的墙上希望能挂上我的画,并发来了墙的照片和尺寸。画的尺寸是40x50厘米。已经三年没有接到这么大尺寸的订单的我,激动的立刻开始构思。

As a fan of SimpHoo and CoolNoodle, my client certainly have no problem about seeing my 2 characters standing on New York street. I had a lots of fun by drawing these sketches:

下单的这位是辛普猴和凉皮喵的粉丝,所以自然以这俩宝贝为主角,和我居住的纽约为背景为主题。想到纽约的街景,想法就一张接一张冒了出来。如下是最初的草图。

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These are the snapshot of the city where I lived: The street side of Soho, the studio of SimpHoo, upperWest twilight, laundry downstairs, and the iron bridge on east 125th Street. 

这几个场景都来自我居住的城市:口香糖满地的Soho街边人行道;辛普猴的工作室内;上西区街边入夜时分;楼下的洗衣店和东125街铁桥下。

My client chose the last one without any hesitation. Her comment was: I can smell the spring on it!

客户毫不犹豫地选择了最后一张,她的回复是:仿佛能从这张画里闻到春天的味道呢。

But client is always client, she also showed her "dislike" about CoolNoodle's orange short. It wasn't about the color, she just simply didn't like the style of the short. To me, the reason I put this short on her was because I need a complementary color to POP-UP girl's blue Knicks jacket.

但是客户总是客户,她对凉皮的橘色紧身短裤表示了“不喜欢”。偏偏这条橘色短裤是衬托其蓝色纽约尼克队棒球服的重要色彩元素,如果换成其他的色彩或是款式,就会减弱对比色的力量,也凸显不出凉皮喵浑圆紧实的臀部。

2nd round sketches. 第二轮草图

So I tried another round for the combination:

于是,我又试了下面三个不同的搭配。

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This time, the client chose the 1st version with denim short. Actually I like girls wearing that too, especially the low-rise and you can actually see the lower half butts. I didn't draw that at the 1st time simply because I drew it too much. BTW, I really don't like the the high-waisted loose short!

这一次,客户很干脆地选了第一张穿牛仔短裤的版本。其实我也喜欢牛仔短裤,一定要低腰能看见屁股下半个圆的那种,第一稿草图没用牛仔短裤唯一的原因就是因为画的太多了。顺便说一句,今年流行的那种松松垮垮的高腰牛仔短裤真是太难看了!

 Further sketches, confirming the tones and color combination. For the first time I tried this "curve perspective".  进一步,确定构图,黑白灰和色彩关系的两个阶段。第一次尝试用了一个“弧形”透视来框住背景中的铁桥。

Further sketches, confirming the tones and color combination. For the first time I tried this "curve perspective".

进一步,确定构图,黑白灰和色彩关系的两个阶段。第一次尝试用了一个“弧形”透视来框住背景中的铁桥。

When you have the same taste with your client, things always get easier. But I had to find a way to solve the complementary problem. I tried this: Adding a yellow traffic light on the left and choosing a more cheerful posture for CoolNoodle by raising her leg and turning her head toward the camera. And that did make the difference.

当你和客户的品味一致,总是能让事情变得简单许多,但要解决缺乏和蓝色对比的色彩问题,我必须得另想法子:通过在左面加入黄色的交通信号灯,并让身为韵律体操高手的凉皮高高抬起腿和转过脸面向镜头,点燃了整个画面的情绪。

By the way, no matter how I tried, I could never reach the vibe of the sketches on the final drawing. Sketches are always better drawing than my final ones. I was quite struggled until I saw the great masters of renaissance and impressionism. They are all the same, drafts are always their best works.

顺便说一句,无论我在画完稿时下多大功夫,都总是画不出这一阶段草稿的生动感。我也试过干脆不画草稿直接在完稿上开动,但完全行不通。后来我看到了德加、莫奈等印象派画家和文艺复兴的大师们的草图与完稿对比之后,心情便平静了,原来大家都是这样啊。

I think there are 2 reasons why the sketches are always so vivid, one is when you are making a sketch, you are starting from nothing, empty; second is the mind is aware of this is a "sketch", but not a precious final work. These two mind reason make the difference. The funny things is: Top 10 most precious calligraphy works in Chinese history, were all drafts.

草图之所以生动,可能是两个原因:1是因为画家完全对着空白在构建画面,2是知道这是草稿的事实,心思和手都是放松地在画。不去勉强掌控笔而恰恰画出生动的线条,这怕是舞蹈家、音乐演奏家、体育运动员、武术家、书法家和画家们共同的追求吧。中国古代十大书法珍品,通通都是草稿呢。

The 60% of the final size 正稿的百分之六十

Being as a slave of the "Ctrl+Z" for many years, I need an unofficial version before I screw up on the final paper. I treat this one as a preparation, and some test with my brushes and colors. I used Canson Mixed Media 11x14 inches Sketchbook. You can check the drawing video here.

由于这一次正稿的尺寸很大,常年被Ctrl+Z所奴役的我心里没底,于是便在约60%的康颂 Mixed Media 27.9x35.6cm 绘图本上先画了一遍,检验下构图和色彩搭配,还有笔和颜料的特性。绘制的过程请点击这里

Starting from pencilling 从铅笔开始的正稿

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The final finally started! I used Canson Foundation Bristol 260gsm paper, with vellum surface.

正稿开始!使用的是康颂 Foundation系列的260g卡纸,左图是此纸裱在四开画板上的样子。

My client lives in Shanghai, so this drawing need to be rolled in a mailing tube. (Flat cardboard is also an option, but I was worried the long distance traveling will damage the cardboard)

客户远在上海,这张需要通过国际快递的画必须卷起来放在画筒里,所以必须使用足够结实的纸,和防水的颜料。

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This scene-breaker is PiDan. Rather than CoolNoodle's rising leg, he was more interested in a foam brick under the drawing board.

抢镜的家伙是屁小蛋,比起凉皮高高翘起的美腿,他更感兴趣的是垫在画板下面的泡沫塑料。

 

The drawing process 绘制过程

The process from penciling to inking. 从铅笔到勾线

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 I always color from the skin. Once the skin tone was set, I will have controls with other parts. 我习惯由肤色开始上色,这样最容易奠定整体色调。

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Detail: The escape staircase, and the graffiti on the Honda Monkey.  细节 公寓上的消防梯,和摩托上的涂鸦。

BTW, The tiny little moto that SimpHoo was driving on was Honda Monkey Z50. It was once teen Michael Jackson's riding! While I was drawing it, I use a 1/12 plastic model as the reference. Every component was based on real.....plastic model. 

顺便说一句,辛普猴胯下这辆摩托是本田猴子。这一系列可爱到爆的摩托曾是少年时的迈克尔杰克逊的坐骑呢。我用手边的1比12的模型来作参照物,每一个零件可都是按实物绘制的!

 Honda Monkey model unbox, found it on amazon.jp. The illustrated manual helped a lot when I have a reverse angle against the one on the box.  本田猴子模型,购于日本亚马逊,其中的说明书为找不到反方向的细节图帮到了大忙。

Honda Monkey model unbox, found it on amazon.jp. The illustrated manual helped a lot when I have a reverse angle against the one on the box.

本田猴子模型,购于日本亚马逊,其中的说明书为找不到反方向的细节图帮到了大忙。

Behind the scene. While it get close to the end, you do need lots of different pens for those details. 

作画现场,临近完成的时候,琐碎的部分非常多,需要各种各样的笔来完成细部。

The finished drawing(right below) and the drafts.  

完成后的正稿(右下)与草稿们的合影。

 The finished final drawing, before the shipping.  完成的正稿,寄出前。

The finished final drawing, before the shipping.  完成的正稿,寄出前。

I spent entire 7 days on this drawing. Plus the sketches and testing, it took me 2 weeks to finish it. And I spent hundred dollars on the supplies, package and shipping...

But how much did I earn from this commission?

此画的正稿从开始到完工,用了整整七天,再加上前期的草稿与测试,花了我整整两周的时间。用了我上百美金的材料费、包装费及运费。最后的画酬劳是多少呢?

The payment was $0,

酬劳是0刀,

 

 

plus, thirty years of friendship.

和30年的友情。

 

For my oldest friend, my desk mate, who supported me since I was 8,

Good luck for your new home! May our secrets keep remaining between us forever!

送给自8岁起便支持鼓励我长达30年的友人,我可爱的小学同桌。

恭祝你乔迁新居!愿我们彼此之间的糗事永远不会被第三个人知道!

 

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Click HERE to buy the print versions (various sizes)

请点击这里购买原大尺寸印刷版