Love in the Storm

The Artdog Image of Interest 

For now, this wraps up my series of Images of Interest focused on my own artwork. Love in the Storm is one of my more recent multiple-original images, based on a 2016 stand-alone original that is now in a private collection.

I developed the image from several separate drawings penciled on tracing paper, overlaid against each other for placement, then inked, scanned, and colored using Photoshop.

Each multiple original is one of 25 double-layer multiple original paper sculptures. Each is printed with fade-resistant inks on archival paper, then cut out, sculpted, and assembled by hand using archival materials.

The single mat (available in black or white) tops 2 layers of foam board spacers and an acid-buffered backing. Each piece is individually hand-signed and numbered by the artist, Jan S. Gephardt, and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. Images from this edition are now available at a few science fiction convention art shows and through the Artdog Paper Sculpture Shop on Etsy.

The Making of “Love in the Storm”

My newest piece of artwork debuted at ConQuesT 47 in Kansas City, this past weekend. It’s titled Love in the Storm, and I’m still trying to decide if it’s finished or not.

This is Love in the Storm, as it appeared in May 2016 at ConQuesT 47.

It looks okay at fairly close range, but when you back several feet away the green dragon kind of fades back into the waves. Is this enough of a problem that it needs to be addressed? Or is it good the way it is? Please comment below, and let me know what you think! I’d appreciate viewers’ guidance.

Overlays fit pieces together.
I use overlays to fit pieces together.

My paper sculpture is all based on line drawings that I draw “from scratch,” usually based on reference photos. I scan the inked drawing, and often use tracing paper overlays to draw details, such as pieces of wings, interlocking shapes, etc.–then scan them, too. This piece is the culmination of three years’ assorted drawings and re-thinking. Perhaps you’d like to know how that happened. 

I often re-use “base” drawings for several different compositions. The “base” drawing for the green dragon in this piece dates back to early 2014. You might recognize it, because it’s been the basis for a fair number of my other recent dragon images. I blogged about it last year, in a post called Dragon Variations

I built up the color layers for the “Ocean Wave” background element in PhotoShop.

I originally created the “waves” that form the background of this piece with the idea that I’d use them for the backgrounds of my “Koi-colored” dragons of 2015. They didn’t work for that, so I left the drawing in my sketchbook. But I realized that once I added color, cut them apart and layered them up, they would be just the thing for this piece’s background.

Deconstructing, then sculpting, layering and reconstructing the waves.

The little red dragon was the element I added this year. I’d originally wanted to create a piece with swooping dragons flying together, when I did the 2014 drawing–but I never could manage a second dragon that I liked, until this past May.

Sculpting and assembling the dragons.

I made that one the same basic way I made the first one: base drawing, wing to add on (in fact, its wing is a reverse of the green dragon’s wing), then Prismacolor pencils to enhance the color from the computer printout. I like to add the touches with Prismacolors, for their rich hues and responsive handling. Then I put it all together, and thought, wow. That actually looks okay. 

IMAGES: This is an easy one: I took all the pictures of my own art.