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Digital_Cintiq 16_PhotoShop_Hard Pencil
Hardcopy size: about 22" x 30"

"Rhoda" is the first digital drawing in which the background layer is toned. For this background layer, I scribbled different colors that I saw in the flesh tones of the model, and then I locked the layer.

Next, I created a new layer and covered it with the bright, fluorescent magenta. I did not draw into this layer but used the eraser brush to scratch out lines and general forms to reveal the background layer of scribbles.

It was spring when I made this drawing, and the rhododendrons were in full bloom. For all my drawings before this one, I drew the plain and neutral backgrounds that the models had been photographed in. The magenta layer encouraged me to think differently: the rhododendrons in my yard glowed with the same magenta. That's it! I'll take photos of my rhododendrons and put my model in an actual environment.

Including a far more interesting environment than the plain backgrounds of the photographs influenced my color choices for the flesh tones of the model: I used variants of her flesh tones, keying them off of the magenta, the deep orange squiggles and day-glow green scribbles of my background layer. The landscaped encouraged a surprising, specific coloration of the nude and color harmony for the flesh tones not based on mimesis alone. Thus this new direction taught me how to establish rich, unexpected color harmonies and palettes for my future artworks.

The inclusion of this richly, vibrantly colored landscape environment influenced the meaning and mood of the whole drawing, evoking feelings associated with springtime: renewal, relief, hope, life, love, magic, etc.