I almost thought this piece wasn't going to work out. I started it off developing the form and shadows with a single hatch technique in pen and ink. Then I added linear accents.
I should have stopped there, but then I wanted to add color. Wanting to try something a little different, I used colored ink instead of watercolor, with unexpected results. I didn't realize that the green ink was of a very cool hue, and instead of getting a brownish color when mixed with red, the result was purple. Yes, it is possible to make purple from red and green! So that was my first disappointment. Then it all went down hill when I started adding more red for the stripes; then red to the background to balance off the stripes; then green to the background to tone down the red. I stopped to let things dry and to give myself time to think about what I might do next.
The next day, instead of deciding to trash the piece that worked to hard on, I decided to collage text in the background, an approach that I have used in recent illustrations. I like using text to complement the subject of a piece. I use it for texture and not so much for a literal message. However, in this piece, it can be taken both literally and as a textural element.
With the text, I simply typed out the word "stripes" several times, in different fonts and printed it out. Then I took a brush with India ink and loosely framed each word. I then tore out the words and some of the inky marks on the paper and glued them to the picture. With the glue still wet, I carefully added ink to the image, isolating some of the words, and adding bolder lines to the figure for more of an emotional impact. I also mad the border much bolder than it was before for more graphic punch. Pretty much all of the hatching in the background is covered up. So much for all that time spent rendering it in.
All in all, I think I resuscitated the illustration to a piece that I am proud to present.