Friday, June 28, 2013

Girl in Malawi



When I think of the word 'tropical' I imagine myself on an island. A warm, but humid breeze kissing my sticky skin. Emerald green trees glowing in the hot sunlight. Locals and tourists adorning colors that burn my retinas. Well you, me, and about everyone else probably conjures up the same image so I wanted to go for something slightly different.

I looked up any place that would be considered to be tropical and decided to go for Malawi in southeastern Africa.  It's located in the Tropic of Capricorn. Along with looking for whatever reference I could find on the country I also came across lots of interesting information about the landlocked country. One interesting thing I learned was the significance of the Chitenge (Kitenge). It's a piece of multi-purpose cloth that can function both as a skirt, headscarf, baby carrier, and etc. Over the years I have seen plenty of women wearing/using them, but I never knew what it was called until now.

For this piece in particular, I wanted to try something that I haven't done in a while, which is flat coloring. I also took some inspiration from some old Japanese woodblock prints as well. As I drew the piece I was plagued by the fact that I thought that there just weren't enough leaves in the trees so I drew as many in as possible. After coloring the piece that thought no longer crossed my mind.