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Friday, August 5, 2011

Capturing Special Events

We were at a family wedding in the Ozarks over the weekend--my godson Aaron and his new wife, Bonnie. It was two big, wonderful, blended families, with spouses, kids, food, music and all those things that make for a lovely event.  Composite pages work well, in a case like this.

I'm happier sketching than taking photographs, though after I got most of my fast, rough pencil sketches done, I DID manage a few photos, and youngest godchild Nora let me work from a couple of the great pics she shot...the sketches were mostly quick, unfinished gesture sketches that I intended to add color to when I got home, and I wish I'd scanned THAT stage.

You can see the pencil sketches on this page, still partly unpainted, and the beginning washes (except Bonnie, who was almost finished here...I had to work from a photo I took of her, because I was too far back to sketch.)
Here's the second spread, partly finished, with Celtic knots since they exchanged silver knot pendants...I tried to keep the washes simple and fresh, as much as possible.

Munchkins Max, Miriya, and Finn ran around like mad things after the wedding--all that pent--up energy!  So I cut a footprint stamp from an old eraser to represent their romps.  You can see I've added more detail here...

Footprints and details on this page, too...and you can see Max running madly between the two sketches of middle godchild Rachel in her cool striped dress.

I wasn't thrilled with the busy area at upper left, so I washed some of the stamps back out and did a soft, wet in wet wash.  (As you might guess, the bride's color choice was purple!)  Things seemed to need a bit of definition and punching up, so I added a few ink accents here and there.
And finally got the nerve to add the lettering!  I decided this page could be a bit less busy (ya THINK??) so let some of the figures be ink or only partly painted.  I like it...I think!

And of course I wasn't able to sketch an 8th of the people there--in a case like this we just have to concentrate on what we're closest to, what catches the eye or tells a story--as well as who stays still for 5 seconds!!  (Happily I wasn't getting paid to record the wedding, or the bride's family might have been seriously miffed!  That's Bonnie's sweet mama and her brother manning the food table at upper right.  But of course I only managed to capture one of Aaron's sisters (twice!)...he has four.

They're not the BEST designed pages I ever did--they're awfully busy and crowded--but they DO recall the happy chaos of the event!

The more peaceful, contemplative bits were done from the window of our trailer in the early morning, before the merry-go-round started up!


  1. -They may be as busy as you say,(nothing wrong with busy at a time like this) but they're all totally delightful and they very successfully express the joy of this day! Sweet sweet couple...

  2. Very cool, Kate! I always enjoy your pages; this is no exception.

  3. "Happy chaos"---a lovely phrase!---is exactly what wedding celebrations are and what you have captured here, IMHO, and if your page had been more tightly designed, you might have lost some of the real spirit of the event.

    Cate in Dundee

  4. Well thank you all! I do like to vary sizes and shapes, and overall I was happy with the results. DO wish I'd gotten Bonnie's folks too, and the other godchildren, but you do what you can.

  5. What a fantastic spread! It really does capture an energy and spirit that wouldn't be possible in photographs. I bet the happy couple would love a nice reproduction of this! Terrific Kate!


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