Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Himalayan Village [WIP]

I recently started a project based on one of my favorite books as a kid, "Daughter of the Mountains" by Louise Rankin. It's set in the 1930s, mostly in Tibet but also Nepal, Bhutan, and India. It's about a Tibetan girl whose dog is stolen by a caravan of wool traders to sell to a wealthy British couple in India and the journey she undertakes to get her dog back. As a kid, I was completely absorbed in the rich descriptions of the locations and it seemed like perfect fodder for a visual development project.

This is an environment piece I started last week... a tiny village along a trade route in the Himalayas. I still have to add figures for scale along with other details like the prayer flags, fence, firewood, a few small shrubs, etc. I was having a hell of a time getting the houses to not look like small condos in the mountains but those old Tibetan homes are so simple looking! I tweaked the original image a bit to test out a different mood... I actually think I like the tweaked image better. I'm thinking of painting in the wool caravan on the foreground trail to introduce some story.

I picked up about 50lbs of reference material from the library but here's a site I found with all kinds of awesome Tibet reference from the time period I'm working with: I think the next piece I'll be doing after this one is the interior of a tea shop.

Recent sketchbook page finished yesterday in San Francisco. A cafe, a shopping center, and The Warfield where I went to go see The Decemberists in concert. They were outstanding. And their new album will be out in March!

Edit: Blogger doesn't feel like loading my image correctly for the sketchbook page. To view a larger version, click here.


Bec said...

Wow lovely piece! I really like the colour in the second one, but I think I prefer the lighting from the first.

Can't wait to see more!

chrystal said...

charlene! that's some beautiful coloring there. but then again, you've always had nice color stuff going on : )

Charlene Fleming said...

Thanks guys! Bec, maybe I should combine the two and see how that turns out... the values of the first and the colors of the second. Chrystal, you know I loves me my color work. :D