Monday, October 25, 2010

Playing around with Picasso's Camel

Picasso's Camel

My version

a sampling of the preliminary sketches
I didn't even know Picasso had a camel actually, but I saw it on a tea set at a friend's house and thought it was a great design idea for a repeatable image.  I figured if it is on a tea set it probably is not copy righted, but still I would rather come up with my own stuff rather than just repeat someone else's image.  One of the main things I didn't like about Picasso's version was that it has two humps and the camels here in Bahrain have only one.  I wasn't particularly fond of the head either as it looks more like a llama to me.  The other thing is that the camels hold their heads even with or lower than their hump most of the time in my observance.  The camels feet are like big cleft thick pancakes that spread out all the way around the leg as they step.  Their bellies protrude and their hips are really small through the flank area.
   So I set about making my own version.  I drew and redrew and redrew some more.  I bet I have drawn this out over a hundred times and it is still not perfect!  It is amazing how the tiniest variation makes such a difference when you are dealing with such a simple design.  When I drew the camel too close to reality (much more spread out from head to tail) then the design wasn't as interesting.  I had to compromise back and forth trying to perfect the image so that it was both recognizable as a camel around here and a pleasing design element.  I wonder how many times Picasso drew his out.  Probably only once... I guess that's what makes him Picasso! LOL!


-Don said...

I love your camel. I think you made all the right choices and he's exactly that now - your camel. I'm glad you shared your process. So often people don't realize how much goes into what seems to be a simple design.


hwfarber said...

Wow. I have always loved Picasso's bull--didn't know he had a camel. I like yours better. Simple is never easy. (I ordered some carving blocks after reading about your first camel--they are just sitting on my dining room table.)

Jan Locander said...

I love the camel! It is so much fun to watch your process. You always add your own flair to your work and that is what makes it so great. The background is perfect for the design. Make more! Love you lots!

liz hill said...

wonderful work you are doing, just think of the fab things you will bring back with you.

lynne h said...

wow, i love your final design... and i can easily imagine how much difference each small change made. this always amazes me...


Rosalie Wrona said...

Love your camel .. he's much more 'camelish' than Picasso's one. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Tonya! I love your camel and all the sketches. There is this Picasso museum in the old quarter in Barcelona. I learned that Picasso worked hard! I don't know about his camel, but they had his sketches for "La Nina". He did TONS of sketches. He made it look simple, and maybe it was sometimes. But, sometimes it wasn't!
Interesting how it doesn't take much to portray something like a camel; elegant!

Mick said...

Your camel, too, is most excellent!

Tonya Vollertsen said...

Wow, what a great response! Thanks everyone! I was really kind of wondering if I would get slammed for even daring to "change/improve" on a "master work". You just never know. It seems like everything under the sun has been done so what can you do but revisit ideas until inspiration hits?

Thanks Don, for your vote of approval! I admire your working process so it means a lot for you to weigh in positively!

Hallie, I must admit that I have never really been a Picasso fan so again, I didn't even know he had a bull per se, other than in his major works and that it was supposed to symbolize him (wonder if he was a Taurus?) but I am so glad you mentioned it because I was fascinated to see the progression of his journey from realistic bull to the final minimalist and fabulous line drawing of the bull!
Don't worry about the carving products on your table. Something will come to you and you will fly with it! I had my stuff forever! LOL!

Hi Jan, You are such a good and supportive friend! I know how talented and versatile you are so any compliments coming from you are always very appreciated and valued. Love and miss you too!

Wow, Liz, back at you! You are doing some really gorgeous work! Thanks for stopping by! Best of luck with all your workshops. Miss you lots.

Hey Lynne, I am loving your small eyed boys and girl series! Of course I actually love all your fabulous faces! Thanks for the input and I'm glad you enjoyed the progress photos.

Hi Rosalie, that certainly works for me! I will take that as high praise. And thankful for it as I certainly admire your wonderful drawings!

Hi Peggy, wow, "elegant", thanks for that! I was in Barcelona years ago and remember one museum but I don't think it was that one. As I said, I have never really been a Picasso fan but mostly because of the cubism. I do realize cubism was a huge movement and that he lead it but it just never appealed to me. However I am finding all kinds of other things he did that appeal to me a lot! I will look up the "La Nina",,, Is there an ~ that you can put over an 'n' for an enya?
The more you learn the more questions there are? LOL!

Thanks, Mick! I am happy beyond words to be the creator of something "most excellent!" even sharing it with that Picasso dude! LOL! Thanks for the visit! I tried to comment on your blog recently and it would't take my comment. I will try again. Love your fab digital work!

Anonymous said...

Great idea, love the work, Picasso did a similar one line drawing of a dog too. Don't know if you know it.

joanne May said...

Hi Tonya,
I have to say I prefer your version of the camel drawing. It does look more like a camel than a Llama.
I'm a big fan of Picasso, but you are right about his drawing. One hump does look better than two. Your final camel image is perfect.
Good to visit you and see your lovely artwork!
P.s I will now follow you, if I'm not already! :-)

Nick said...

I like yours better, especially the print shown in the pic. :)

Tonya Vollertsen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tonya Vollertsen said...

Tonya Vollertsen said...
Hello Anon., thanks for the info, will look it up.

Joanne, thanks so much for visiting! I love your etherial world with the wonderful fey characters, drawing and jewelry! You were actually one of my first followers but I know how that goes we forget and rediscover! LOL! Thanks for the reinforcement of your solidarity! Re-following is so re-affirming! Thank you so much!

Nick! What a force you are! Wow! congrats on the Mexico coalition! What a coup! You deserve it of course but still, you must be so humbled to be chosen. Thanks for your affirmation of my image and my little print! Means a lot!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That's a lot of lovely sketched camels! Mind you, drawing that much would give me the hump!

Tonya Vollertsen said...

Greenfingers, it was an obsessive endeavor to be sure and who knows, my posture may have suffered for it as well! LOL!

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