A few months ago I set to work on two pieces for the Incognito Exhibition 2018 at the Solomon Fine Art Gallery in Dublin. It is an annual public art exhibition - the largest exhibition in Ireland - with over 1600 artists providing miniature artwork on postcards, in aid of the Jack and Jill Children's Foundation. All artwork is priced at €50 each, and buyers can't confirm who the artist is until they purchase and check for the signature on the reverse of the card! I just love this concept, as ultimately the buyer is purchasing artwork that they genuinely love, regardless of who created it.
~ Rachel x
My first piece was inspired by childhood wonder, exploration and imagination. I began with a rough sketch, and then outlined the main lines. I penciled-in the reverse of the sheet to make graphite paper, in order to trace the image onto the postcard. I used washi tape to tape down the postcard to my paper palette, and to create a thin border frame. The next stage is colour choice - one of my most indecisive qualities! I find it's best to begin with one colour and then base the rest of the palette from this....
I usually prefer to work with a limited colour palette. As mentioned above, I have a difficult time finalising a colour palette, and so I limit myself from the beginning of the process to just one colour - usually the dominant colour of the illustration - and work the rest of the palette around this. My first choice was a lovely grey-green colour, and so this particular shade of green informed the choice of tones of brown that I used.
I used Polychromo pencils as they lend themselves well to blending. They also have a lovely soft texture that reminds me of oil pastels, which produces bright and vivid colour application. In order to make the little girl stand out from the background, I decided to use a pop of bright orange for her hair. It allows her presence to be known immediately, and the colour - although a visual contrast to the rest of the colour palette - is also complementary to the greens and browns.
And here are my final two pieces for the exhibition. The botanical hand is a companion piece, as it depicts her hand holding a bouquet of her forest finds. It was a pleasure to work on these pieces for such a worthy cause, and I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about my process. If you have any questions, please comment below!