ANGEL ALPHABET PAINTINGS - ICON STYLE
The idea for the angel icon art and future publication of the icon images as an alphabet book began several years ago. This page will discuss how the watercolor and ink illustrations have been created. If you wish to have a print or to buy the original, contact Irene Baron email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The image on the left is for alphabet letter "C" depicting the angel announcing the birth of Jesus Christ with the Christmas star as the celestial announcement for the astronomers and wisemen. Please note there are different races depicted in the illustration. When I traveled to that part of the country I saw there were all colors of skin represented. Therefore I made sure they were also represented in my illustration.
If you are pondering whether to create a Bible related icon, know that you will be committing yourself to working diligently over a formidable period of time. The more accomplished you are with artist techniques, the easier the work will be. If you are not an accomplished artist, you will have to take some time to practice your strokes prior to applying ink or paint to the paper or illustration board.
If you don't already have the artist equipment, please be aware that the cost of the creation may financially impact your pocket. Artist paint brushes can run a few dollars for cheap ones to over a hundred dollars for better ones. The paints will vary in cost depending upon your medium. If you use inks, a bottle per color will be required.
WATERCOLOR: If you use watercolor paint, you will have to decide whether to use paint from the tubes or from blocks or pans of hard color. Some watercolor paints are transparent and others opaque. You must check the information on the container of colors prior to purchase, or study a watercolor technique book for the data. Some watercolors stain paper and can never be removed. Other colors can be wet and lifted off the paper in case of an accident or design change.
No matter what medium you use, acrylic, ink, or watercolor, you must determine which type of paper or art board you wish to use. I use 400-pound hot pressed illustration board manufactured by Crescent and obtained from Dick Blick. Dick Blick will graciously trim the board to whatever size I need. Hot press board doesn't do well with mistakes. If you think you'll make some, use watercolor paper. It's the same paper all the way through. Therefore you can lift off a mistake with no one being the wiser.
To create a Bible icon of your own, you need to first decide which Bible verse to illustrate. To make that important decision, think about what story in the Bible you can recall vividly in your mind. Picture the story as though you were watching it in a video. When you finally imagine the scene you wish to illustrate, jot down the details. Create a small picture of the scene by sketching on scrap paper how you want it to look. Determine what colors each part will be. Sometimes, I will make copies of my sketch and play with colored pencils to figure out the best color composition. That sketch will become your inspiration as your work evolves and the sketch is changed. There are many "rules" in creating the original design. The pattern and colors need to be balanced. The design should be created so that the observers' eye will stay in the picture and not fly off. Once the eye leaves the picture, the observer will usually not return to it.
One of the pitfalls of preparing your art is to ensure you are not remembering a scene you have seen elsewhere in your life in another painting or illustration. You do not want to innocently infringe on any other artists' copyrighted material or copy any of the work from famous masters of the past. You want to make an original sketch.
Once you have the sketch, you will want to move it to the illustration board. The way I do this is either freehand, or transfer. I place the final sketch on a translucent tracing paper. Turning it over, I scribble over the lines showing through with a graphite pencil. This will make it easy to transfer the picture.
Once all the lines are covered, the tracing paper is placed on the illustration board with the scribble side down. Attach it securely. This will now act like carbon paper allowing you to transfer your original sketch to the illustration board. Then, gently draw over the lines of your original sketch. Check to see they are very lightly showing up on the illustration board beneath it. If the lines are showing up very lightly and barely visible, continue. You don't want them dark. When you have finished, remove the tracing paper and examine the transfer. You are now ready to paint or ink in your design.
Below is the illustration of Baalam's angel. The story of Baalam in the Bible is found in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 22: 6-41, and chapters 23 & 34. Some details of the work are shown below. When I am working on the illustration only the work area is exposed. I protect the other surfaces with heavy paper. The pure gold powder I use in the illustrations is rendered into a clear or metallic gold acrylic paint. All animals rendered in the Baalam painting have Bible names that begin with "B."