Not so hard, right?
Meanwhile, in my History of Mesoamerican Art class, we could get extra credit if we created an art piece related to something we talked about in the class.
So I knew my drawing would have to double-task for the two classes; no way would I have enough time to make two separate pieces. I thought about it a bit and decided to try and do something about repatriation and art ownership. You know, should a piece go to the descendants of the people who made it, or the people best able to preserve it for future generations. (The controversy over the Elgin Marbles is the best-known example of this that I can think of, but it's a huge deal in Mesoamerican art, too.) I scribbled a few tentative thumbnails before starting work on my final, on 14"x17" bristol board. I didn't take a photo of the pencil sketch, but here's an in-progress from when I started inking:
On the left side I wanted to create a museum-like setting with a scholarly person in the foreground. On the right would be a traditionally-dressed Maya woman in her native village. The middle would be an old Maya stela. Originally I thought about doing a 'captive' stela, but I couldn't find an image that I liked so I went with one of the kings.
Photo of the image after it was colored in:
Clearly, I need to work on developing my colored pencil skills A LOT. But overall I'm satisfied with how this turned out. I'm definitely getting a better sense of color mixing and how light interacts, but I still have a long way to go. (I really need to experiment with blending, too. I almost never do that in my work, since the finished results often look 'overworked' but it's something I need to improve.)
Close-up of the Maya half
When we critiqued the piece in class, someone said that it came across as biased toward right side, or returning pieces to the native lands. I thought that a little funny because that's actually the opposite of what I think; I think whoever can best preserve the piece should hold on to it. If that's a museum, fine. If that's a private collection, so be it. But because the Maya side is so colorful, it seems I prefer it. That's something I wrestled with when I worked on the colors. Museums are generally drab with neutral colors on the walls, filled with glass and isolated pieces of art. They aren't...lively, by and large, so it's very hard to make a sterile environment look enticing when compared to a living, tropical village.
But overall, I'm pleased with how this turned out.