Image © Andrea Terpolilli

I Once Loved a Woman #Sketch

Today's #sketch from our Manchester-based Background Artist Andrea Terpolilli is inspired by the works of the prolific Italian writer, illustrator, and poet Pinin Carpi!

Andrea: I took inspiration from a magical oriental story called “Cion Cion Blu” written by Pinin Carpi. It is a story that speaks of a young emperor and his love for a woman of humble origins.

The first step was to work on as many thumbnails as possible in order to find the right frame and composition for the narrative. Normally my method is to make a very sketchy layout and put it on top with a multiply blending mode and start working on sections from there so I can have a much cleaner painting. But this time the set goal was to have a rough colour key and simulate a traditional painting using the principles of complementarity colours used by impressionists such as Seurat and Monet.

I simulated a traditional painting, working with just one level so I couldn't go back; this gave me more constraints and made me think harder about the decisions I made. I set a brush with rough grain and dots textures in order to achieve a pointillism effect and I always try to keep the workspace really small and distant from my eyes, working with an A5 sheet.

I love Seurat and the richness of his chromatic colour range in his paintings.

This was my first study on how impressionists preferred to influence every single colour of the palette which is complimentary at the same tonal level. Quantity and quality of the colours are fundamental principles for impressionist painters.

I then started playing and having fun with colours! No references, no scheme, just kept in mind the colour wheel and took a walk inside of it, freed my imagination on every possible type of light and chromatic coupling, even the extreme ones. 

In this way, I certainly risked getting away from realism but being a magical story, I did not want to limit my colours to just a naturalistic and realistic palette so I tried every kind of chromatic combination.


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