Jenn's Gourd Art Blog
A little diary about my newest completed gourd, Rainbow Trout. It was a special commission of a vase in the style of some of my other water life themed gourds. It went home to its owner this week and we are both pleased how it turned out.
I often get asked if I have an idea first and choose the gourd or let the gourd dictate what it wants to be. That is funny because it tends to happen both ways at different times. No art piece unfolds exactly the same way. In this one, the size and shape were predetermined, so I had to first find the gourd that fit the bill.
While the gourd was being prepared, I set to work on sketching. The best way to learn about drawing anything is to draw it as much as possible in various positions. Many trout photos I found were similar, a fisherman holding his fresh catch, or another artist’s rendering of a dramatic trout leaping out of the water for its airborne meal. These were not what I had in mind, I needed to see living fish swimming from different angles. My solution was to watch some underwater videos, and thanks to dedicated fisherman these were a plenty. At strategic points I could then make screenshots and draw the fish in more natural positions.
After sketching these I then set to work on the composition. I do this both on paper and on the gourd, turning the gourd to make sure it would look interesting from all sides.
After the initial sketches were approved, I began the pyrography. I started with outlining the water undulations and the fish on the upper part of the gourd.
Then I burned in the bottom section, which was to be more of a natural underwater scene and not colored.
The weather turned nice so I used that time as an opportunity to carve. There were sections of water to be carved out and drilled, and other sections that were to have carved bubbles.
Next the upper trout were burned, shaded and the spots details added.
Colored pencil was used to color the trout. Here is where my husband was most helpful. My initial coloring was a bit dull for what he thought it should be, and being a trout fisherman he should know! Even the underwater video I saw did not clearly show the colors. When he brings trout home, they are already dead and their colors dull. So out of my comfort zone those colors got brighter!
Lastly, the painting in the turquoise water and meticulously painting the tops of every bubble was done. I am very happy with the way this turned out in the end.
Have a look at these two video shorts below of the process and the finished gourd!
Art has always been a part of my life, and I have worked in many different mediums.