fred_bear – Belle Art Nouveau

26 Feb


I thought that if anyone was going to get a picture of a naked man, it was going to be fred_bear.

So what happened?

Well, I went to Prague. I went to Prague and discovered Alphonse Mucha. I really wanted to have a go imitating (emulating!) some of his art nouveau posters and I thought fred_bear would probably appreciate his style. So, with this new inspiration, I tried out some ideas. I realised pretty early on that Mucha’s art is complex – too complex (to be honest) for my skill level and my small A4 sheet of paper. Also, he’s just much better (more experienced!) at drawing than me. For my first attempt, I decided to concentrate on a head, rather than a whole body. So I needed a face and I remembered that fred_bear had a pic she really really liked (and which she’d conveniently posted on her lj :-). She could be the face! So now I had a great face, I started trying to put it into a picture but frankly I had a lot of trouble (and here is an example). The main problem is that all you really see of fred_bear in the picture is her face and I was getting absolutely lost in working out how big her head should be relative to that. What I needed was fred_bear‘s face on a head. Fortunately I knew someone, with relatively similar hair and head, who was willing to be photographed 🙂 After some 40-odd shots (digital camera), I ended up with a head at the right angle that I could stick fred_bear’s face on. (Seriously!) This was a great help and I decided that my next draft was the one[1].

After I’d made up my final draft, I transferred it only to tracing paper, which was a genius idea cos I ended up tracing the final picture three times. I used a mixture of pen, gouache and water colour pencils. These are all difficult materials for me – much more difficult than, say, acrylic or oils or graphite – because once you put it on, it’s there for good and it’s *very* difficult to go over it without messing it up even more. I’m generally a messy person and this is part of the reason I was trying them out. One of the mistakes occurred because I didn’t realise my pen was not waterproof, once because I’d decided I was too heavy handed with pink on fred_bear ‘s face. My final picture is not perfect – I think other copies looked more like fred_bear than this final one. It’s a great lesson in how tiny change in pen stroke can really change a whole face. But the final picture is (i think!!) really rather pretty – I love the dark red and the stars and the border and the hair.

[1] fred_bear‘s hair? A complete rip off of the hair Mucha put on Music!!

11 Responses to “fred_bear – Belle Art Nouveau”

  1. fred_bear at 11:15 pm #

    🙂 Love the piece and love reading the process and story behind it! Thank you so much! Now i’ve just got to get it framed and find the right place to hang it.

  2. kathrynlinge at 11:18 pm #

    Woohoo! 🙂

  3. planeterry at 11:25 pm #

    Luverly! I really like that style of art deco-ness too, think I’d heard of Mucha, but forgot his name again…

  4. planeterry at 11:26 pm #

    Oh yeah! I also, really like learning about The Process!

  5. kathrynlinge at 11:32 pm #

    Well, there’s more to come…
    Am all excited now! Am really glad y’all like em (so far!!)

  6. girliejones at 12:40 am #

    she looks *so* sad – its a very moving piece

  7. fred_bear at 12:55 am #

    You know, I hadn’t looked at it like that, but you’re right.

  8. helena_eternal at 3:46 am #

    Oh, I love it! I adore art so much, especially this style. Explaining the process is always interesting ( always explain mine, even though I’m afraid I’ll bore people to death). And this looks just like Jen, who’s so pretty anyway. Great work, I love it! ^_^

  9. kathrynlinge at 8:02 am #

    🙂 thanks! explaining it is half the fun!

  10. kathrynlinge at 8:03 am #

    she does, doesn’t she. it’s good to see the piece with fresh eyes.


  1. exp_err – Monoprint Man « Kathryn Linge -

    […] I had any doubt that exp_err would get a nude, it disappeared after fred_bear went all art nouveau. Also, exp_err had expressed some enthusiasm towards receiving a naked chick when the meme first […]

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