hacked out this color sketch using my daughter's paint tray.
As is usual with a fast sketch, it has a certain energy the
final piece lacks.
The Crow people saw it and told me to get rid of the
beak. They said it "defaced" the character.
the Crow was already pretty ugly and the beak was interesting.
I tried to sneak it in, hoping it wouldn't be as offensive
in the final painting.
Unfortunately, in acrylic it was even more grotesque. They
still rejected it.
Technical note: I made the spectral faces in the background
by laying down a red watercolor wash. On top of the wash
I drew each face in thinned rubber cement. After the faces
dried I painted over the entire thing with black acrylic,
picked up the rubber cement, and there were the red faces.
Crow people accepted the beak in the final drawing,
so long as it was tiny. I'm not sure which version is better.
I guess it really wasn't worth the fight because the piece
wasn't anything personal to begin with. But I still managed
to pour some anguish into it.
Illustrators sometimes have to build a personal head of steam
around an uninteresting project. If you have to paint a cookie
for Keebler, you try to fetishize it somehow, making the chips
chunkier or the sugary coating more surreal. Illustration
is more restrictive than fine art, so the challenge becomes
expressing what the client wants and expressing your own personality
at the same time.