Hello and welcome to the next illustration tale! Today’s post is, again, divided in two. The first part will have the illustration and the tale, while the second part will be about the illustration itself. I will always present the tales and the illustrations this way since it makes things more organized and neat. As said in last post, today’s illustration tale is Part II of Mimi’s Dream story. Hope you are excited and on with the tale. Enjoy!
Tale – Mimi’s Dream Part II – Dream
It has been 4 years since Mr. Sinclair parted with me from England and brought me to France so that I could marry William. I do not regret getting married to him, he has never failed at treating me well and I have come to think of him, as not only my husband, but also as a dear friend. I may have a happy married life as “Miranda Barlow”, but I have not forgotten about the time when I was called “Mimi”. That young girl still lives inside of me and is still enchanted by the sea and its ships.
Sadly, as I am now I rarely have the chance to jump on a ship and enjoy the journey. To feel the enticing movement of the ship dancing between the waves or the powerful wind that pushes the sails. The everlasting perfume of the sea, the so known song of the waves, the sun hitting from dawn to dusk. I miss all of that and more. When I think of it, I cannot help but realize I do not know what I love more, if the ocean itself or the way the ship makes its way through that ocean.
William is very aware of my passion for the sea and sailing, and has also noticed how much it saddens me to not be able to live like the men of the sea. For those reasons, he has prepared just for me, an amazing room full of encyclopedias about marine biology, manuals for navigating the sea as well as manuals about river navigation; books that show you the several types of ships and boats there is as well as all the various parts they are made of. There are also maps of many places around the globe that I aim to visit someday. There are even books about birds and meteorology that I have found to be unusually interesting and useful for the hard life in a ship. For now, I study in that room whenever I can.
Sometimes, though, I need to get out of the mansion and look down the road, where the city lies and so does the sea. That beautiful and vast creature known as the ocean, she never fails to impress me. I especially love it when there are ships parting from the harbor. Ships that go to those territories found in the maps I have studied so many times. No, it does not sadden me to see them part knowing I cannot leave with them. All it does is making my desire stronger, pushing me to go back to the room and keep studying and working on a way to make my dream come true. In fact, I know it is too early for me to leave because none of the ships that leave the harbor is my ship. None of them brings out the Mimi inside of me. So, no, it does not sadden me or make me suffer in any way to see them part. My dream is still deeply anchored in me and the time has not come. Yet.
Now, onto the illustration. Duuuuude, it took me so long and so much work. I’m dead. Let us start with a little about the story’s circumstances, the clothing is, for part I and part II, from the early XX but the ships are, at least, from the century before and the city from the XVIII century. Clothing for part III will, most likely, be something from the XIX or your typical pirate clothing. No, the story is not historically accurate but that is ok since I am aware of it and want it that way. Once the story is done, I may talk a little more about the historical facts behind it. Another thing about the story, Mimi (or Miranda) is now 21 years old.
The sketch was easy to do, I had to do some research about the XX century fashion, just because I wanted to use something from that time. I finally choose the winter collection from 1930-1935 which I believe is from the designer Marcel Rochas. Then I sketched out the background, which was not that easy, but I figured it out.
I used some of the Ghibli backgrounds as reference or inspiration, a photo I found on Instagram but it was just to get a better idea of what I wanted. The coloring was not too easy, I changed it a lot throughout the painting, especially on the scenery. The sky took me a lot of time but it turned out great and matches very well the sea. The ships, I would say, were a pleasure to do. Even more because I only did one then copied and pasted. And did some retouches here and there, of course.
There are a lot of things I can talk about but, since I have done many skies and seas, I think I do not really need to explain more about how to paint those. Plus, it is not that hard something decent and not too realistic when doing any of those things. Grass, on the other hand, can be a little trickier, but if you have some nice brushes that do many strokes in one stroke (does that make enough sense?) and keep in mind that you should layer various colors (light and dark), you should be good to go. Ships, use references and simplify or even get rid of unnecessary details that do not give any valuable information for understanding that what you are seeing is, indeed, a pirate ship, steamship, or whichever type you choose.
I will be doing more ships, because of part III, so I will be able to give you a broader explanation for painting sailing ships (since there are the ones I have been doing since part I). I will also take chance and explain how you are supposed to simplify an object and still have it looking coherent. (One I write it, I will put the link here). I think I may have a thing for ships, well, I do love the Pirates of the Caribbean films and the One Piece manga.
I think that is it. As I am writing this I haven’t even finished the illustration nor the story yet, I am a mess right now. The video almost made it, so I uploaded it later. Ok, thank you for reading me today, I know it is a messy post but this is all I have. As Jake Parker says, «finished not perfect». Have a cool weekend.
Other parts of Mimi’s Dream: