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Process of an artist: Specialised artworks.
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The inner workings of an artist.

Process of an artist: Specialised artworks.

The Journey to create Warrior Judi (2013)

The Journey to create Warrior Judi (2013) started with Judi, a Karate student of mine contacting me to ask about the artwork Bushi-do (which was created for my instructor). I informed Judi that Bushi-do was not available to purchase, however postcards and posters were available to be purchased of this work in A4, A3 and A2 sizes, or if she wanted I could create a similar piece for her.

Judi requested that a similar piece be created, so it began with the idea of maybe a female, same size, and similar colours and background.

So the sketching process began. I created a couple of poses that I quite liked one with the female warrior just beginning to draw her sword and one with her walking with double swords strapped to her back. With the Background of Bushi-do in mind but with out wanting to reproduce the exact same background I very roughly sketched four concepts.  I used the two poses with a sun setting through cherry blossoms and also for something different, a setting though bamboo. Colouring the warrior women in blue, purple and red to get a feel for the different colour options.

From these initial sketches we discussed a more dynamic pose which I was finding difficult to envision with my research of females with swords online. However I was doodling while watching TV and a new warrior emerged.

Judi really loved this idea, so I then embarked on capturing this pose in a photograph for reference. MODEL = ME. Ha Ha Ha. My partner Sean was the photographer.

However WHAT WAS I GOING TO WEAR? I had to create a warrior costume. From my various items in my wardrobe I created a costume from an Chinese dressing gown my Mum brought home from China, a scarf tied double around my waist and a cape I that I had made wrapped around me as the skirt.

I also Fashioned an Asian hat out of cardboard. Two Tai Chi practice swords more presents brought home from china from Mum came in very handy.

The sketch to the right was created using the photo references we took.

I love this sketch and I think that it will look amazing with one of the Bamboo backgrounds with the female warrior in shades of purple. (I love purple but that is just me.) 

This work is for Judi and at this stage she requested the warrior have the Asian hat as well, which I sketch the above warrior with the hat, (she is better without the hat) but I could sense that Judi like this image but not as much as me. So I sent her an image that Sean and I had taken on a whim while taking the other reference shots and she loved the pose and a new warrior was born. (left)

Judi and her Husband both loved this sketch so.... 


I like to sketch the image on the the canvas first so that I have a sense of the composition and a visual memory of where everything goes but once the paint goes on the canvas the sketch tends to disappear, I still find it helpful. Starting with the background and building the image from furthest away to the what is the closest.

Painting the background sunset first over the whole canvas to ensure the blending of the colours have a smooth transition and the circle is consistent. I added in a horizon so that the figure would not appear to be floating when finished. Followed by a base coat of white over the background for the figure and the branches. Next was painting in the branches focusing on the light source generating from the sun. Another base coat for the flowers over the background and the branches.

Flowers were the next stage of this painting, they are a little different to the flowers on Bushi-do as they were probably the one thing I felt was not quite up to standard on Bushi-do. The cherry blossoms of Warrior Judi are much more realistic in details and colours. The middle image above is the obi (sash) and the torso of the warrior. The last image is the skirt.  

At this point I was getting really inspired by the painting and I didn't stop for a photo after finishing the arms and the hat. I then moved onto the blade of the sword finishing with the hands and the hilt of the sword, which proved to be a marathon finish as I painted in a considerable amount of details of the embellishments on the sword using the Tai Chi practice sword as reference. 

There is Japanese Kanji on the Sword.   寿  出  意 
 寿 Ju = longevity  出 De = emerge, exit  意  I = heart

 寿 出 意 Judi

For those of you who understand Japanese, I apologise if this is incorrect. I did find this loose translation on the internet and I thought it was an appropriate and translation with interesting meaning of Judi. Very suitable for the person she is.  

Here is the final completed image of the Warrior Judi. I really hope you all enjoy this brief blog of the long journey to create here. I especially hope that you all love the finished work and consider commissioning me to create a masterpiece for you. As you can see it is an intensive process, but it is well worth the time and effort.  

Warrior Judi will be reproduced into postcards, A4, A3 and A2 prints to be available to purchase in the very near future. If you are interested in owning a print or a postcard please contact us for more information. 

Thank you for reading about this journey and stay tuned for more.

Naomi Campbell
CEO and Artist of Wonkie Knee Art.

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