[The Art Studio] Pretty in Pink

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[The Art Studio] Pretty in Pink

Postby Anouk on March 8th, 2015, 9:08 pm

Image
Pretty in Pink
26th Spring, 515AV

"All great art has a name."

The words instantly reminded Anouk of her mother. Niva Pavarti had enforced the rule to all four of her daughters, encouraging them to name even their infantile scribbles. Anouk, being the most passive and compliant daughter, had of course agreed with her mother. And so as a young girl, she had given each and every one of her paintings a title. Then it had simply become a habit of Anouk's to do so. But the one in front of her now completely stumped the Konti. Granted, the painting was less than half complete, but she still had no idea as to what to title it.

Inspiration will come, she assured herself silently, with a nod.

Anouk glanced to the door that served as the main entrance to the art studio. Her professor had still not arrived -- despite the fact her lesson should have started half a bell ago. With a mild shrug, Anouk returned her attention back to her in-progress artwork.

The painting was fairly large, bigger than anything Anouk had started since her arrival to the port city. Approximately half of the canvas had been painted already, though only with the first layer of colours, giving an overall blurry and flat impression so far. The other half of the canvas simply showed the sketched outline of what Anouk was planning on painting at a later stage. The centre of the image featured a woman's bodiless left hand, outstretched to show off the pretty diamond ring that sat proudly on the third finger. The rest of the painting appeared to be disjointed from this partially-painted image. The top corner displayed two hands clasped together, with fine charcoal lines on each finger to emphasise the old age of whomever the hands belonged to. The other three images were of a bloodied knife, a pile of golden coins and - perhaps the most puzzling, the blurred outline of a faceless, apparently genderless, individual.

Anouk reached forward, gently flicking a stray piece of charcoal off her canvas. The banished intruder left a faint black line that swept across the left third of the creamy linen, and the Konti tsked with mild annoyance.

The door creaked loudly open, snapping up Anouk's aquamarine gaze to her professor, a fellow Konti. But the student's anticipatory smile faltered when she realised what her professor was wearing: bright pink robes. They were quite the change to the usual, duller colours.

Judging by Nabisa's expression, the change was not a welcome one. She raised a hand tiredly before Anouk could even muster up a weak compliment to reassure her professor. "Don't ask. I have no idea what happened."

Image
Last edited by Anouk on March 9th, 2015, 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Anouk
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[The Art Studio] Pretty in Pink

Postby Anouk on March 8th, 2015, 9:41 pm

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Anouk noticed how the robe was so bright that it practically glowed in direct sunlight. She almost had to squint because of its sheer luminescence! "It's a very bright pink. I'm surprised they've changed the colour to something so--." Cheerful? Blinding? Hideous?

Nabisa dropped the robe immediately upon closing the door to the studio. The older woman picked it up, hanging the bright pink swathe of material on the very tip of her finger with mild disgust. "They didn't. It was like this when I collected it this morning. All of the professor's robes were."

"A prank!" Anouk cried quietly, abashed that a fellow student would play such a mean, unnecessary trick on their educators. "Why?"

"Who knows?" Nabisa's tone was clearly irked, but in that mild way typical of the Konti people, "some are saying it is a poltergeist. Did you hear about the library being oiled on the East wing? Well, apparently the same thing has happened today, but on the West wing."

The two Konti shared a few murmurs of disapproval at such events. A poltergeist? The story sounded too far-fetched to Anouk, who found it much easier to believe that a few students had perhaps had too much Kelp Beer the previous night. Pranksters were easily made after a few beers -- or so she'd heard.

Her professor seemed keen to move the lesson on, to make up for the lost time. So Anouk gestured to her canvas, inviting the other Konti to criticise and educate. "Progress as been slow," she admitted, preparing herself to hear the expected critique from her professor. Nabisha was harsh but fair, but that didn’t stop Anouk from wanting to continually impress her teacher. "and I'm still not happy with the shape of the dagger, but-"

"So far..." Her professor's words came out tantalizingly slowly, as if she knew that Anouk hung onto her every syllable, "it is looking good. Chaotic, but good. Explain the idea behind this painting to me."

This was Anouk's favourite part about art -- other than actually admiring it, of course. The story behind a painting always gave an additional depth to its meaning and her interpretation of the piece. "These are some of the desires I have felt from others since my arrival to Zeltiva." she began steadily, indicating to each separate image that formed the entirety of her painting, "the engagement signifies the most common; love, marriage... You know the rest. The old hands are the desire to live a long, healthy life. The dagger is the desire to seek revenge, and the faded person is the desire to be reunited with a lost loved one."

Nabisa considered this explanation for a moment, her facial expression remaining perfectly neutral. Eventually, she gave a taut nod of approval, "yes. It's an interesting interpretation of what you've felt. But just bare in mind that desires are not always... solid or realistic. Right now, this all seems a little tame." The older Konti stepped around to the back of the canvas so she could face Anouk, who waited silently for further description. "For example, I would expect that the women who desires love and marriage would wish for a romance unlike any other, something fantastical and magical in itself. And, apart from our people or the Akalaks, few mortal beings live for more than one hundred years, yet in your sketch of the hands don't look so incredibly old."

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Last edited by Anouk on March 9th, 2015, 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[The Art Studio] Pretty in Pink

Postby Anouk on March 9th, 2015, 5:28 pm

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The other woman had a good point. In a bustling crowd, Anouk would only learn the most basic details of a person's desire. The finer details, or perhaps even the most fantastical, would remain unclear. She would have no way of knowing whether a woman hunting for love desired an engagement ring the size of an acorn or an apple. But yes: desires were a creation of the imagination, unbound by the constrains of reality or possibility. "So I should make things... grander?" She glanced from professor to canvas and back again, seeking further approval.

"Yes. But you should ask yourself: what does desire mean? Do you think a dagger perfectly reflects one's desire for revenge? How would you imagine someone who has such a wish to react to this portrayal?"

This left Anouk in deep thought for a chime. Such an aggressive desire went completely against her nature as a Konti, let alone as a peaceful artist. But she could fully understand and sympathise with individuals who found themselves with such a yearning for revernge. If someone hurt any of her sisters, Anouk would be tempted to seek her own vengeance in some way -- perhaps a strongly worded letter?

"I don't know." She replied earnestly, shrugging her shoulders and staring at her painting, feeling utterly unaccomplished and diminutive.

Nebisa smiled faintly at Anouk's obvious frustration. She liked to see such dedication in her students; it proved to her that their art was more than just a simple hobby. "Perhaps you should start with something more simple, then. And go from there."

"The hands." Anouk said quietly with a nod. Yes; those who wished for a long life surely wished for a life that outlived any other. Those hands needed to Imageportray a life of centuries, millennia. As old as the Valterrian itself.

She retrieved a piece of charcoal from the stand next to her easel. With a few short strokes, Anouk added more faint lines to each of the hands for extra wrinkles. Though they certainly looked older, the hands still didn't seem old enough. Drier, bonier... Anouk tried to imagine what the oldest pair of hands in the world would look like.

Last edited by Anouk on March 9th, 2015, 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[The Art Studio] Pretty in Pink

Postby Anouk on March 9th, 2015, 6:08 pm

Image
And then a gross idea came into her imagination. It wasn't just old age that people wished for, but to avoid death itself. The hands should be rotting, but still pink enough to illustrate that they were living despite their obvious decay. Anouk rubbed away several segments of the charcoal outline of both hands. Then she re-sketched the outline, but concaved it slightly to provide a guide for when she painted over it. "The hands will be decaying." she explained shortly to Nebisa, who watched carefully over Anouk's shoulder, "When I paint over my outline, these gaps will reveal the rotten flesh underneath, the decay."

Next she would need to improve that engagement ring, the wearer of which already had the first layer of watercolour paints over her charcoal guide. Fortunately, Anouk had not yet started to paint the ring itself. She picked up a thin paintbrush, mixing white and black on her pallet to create a pale grey. It started with a thin line that seemed to follow the curve of the woman's third finger. The Konti built up this layer three times until it was nearly opaque, and then outlined the top half with a paler shade, the bottom with a darker grey.

But it was the diamond that Anouk showed real attention to. Much like the ring, this started with a thin outline of white paint, in the rough shape of an oval. The Konti stepped back, examining the size of the ring compared to that of the hand. "Bigger." She decided with a quiet statement, stepping back up to the easel and adding more paint to the diamond. By the time she was finished editing and improving, the stone looked ridiculously large compared to the skinny fingers. There was likely never to be a diamond that huge; but that was the effect that Anouk sought.

And yet, she was still not satisfied. "It needs to be imperfect in some way." She shot a hopefully gaze to her professor. Anouk had always worked best when she could bounce ideas off another person. When the older Konti nodded wanly, Anouk continued: "The hands are rotting. The desire has a consequence in that instance, but not here. What woman wouldn't want a huge diamond?" The two women shared a conspiratory smirk.

"Perhaps the woman's hand could be bruised, to show she suffers a beating from her fiancé?" Anouk considered this idea, then waved her free hand to dismiss it, "no, Imagebecause who would desire that? It has to be the ring. Maybe it's cracked, or tarnished in some way?"

She tried to imagine the picture; a huge diamond that was chipped and cracked. How would that reflect the consequence of the desire? That love and marriage was never perfect? A possibility, but somewhat cliché.

Last edited by Anouk on March 9th, 2015, 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[The Art Studio] Pretty in Pink

Postby Anouk on March 9th, 2015, 7:56 pm

Image
"Perhaps if the diamond was so big, the fingers were broken under its weight?" This sounded slightly more promising, but would be more challenging than simply painting in a few cracks or chips into a diamond.

With a final nod, Anouk continued to paint. She had already started the first layer of the woman's fingers and hands, but fortunately the paint was weak enough that it would be relatively easy to make the necessary changes. The Konti stared at her own hands, flexing her fingers in odd sharp, unnatural angles to try and imagine what a broken finger would look like. But her family were one of the few non-healing Konti families; injuries were not something Anouk had come across every day.

What did she know of biology? Practically nothing, save for the fact that everyone had two eyes, ten fingers and ten toes (ignoring those pesky Eypharians or Akvatari). An engagement ring sat between the second knuckle and the base of the finger... so it would make more sense if it were this part of the digit that was crushed.

She started stroking the canvas with her paintbrush again, which she had previously dipped in a fleshy pink colour. Anouk dragged her brush down from the base of the hand to the bottom-half of the ring. On the other side of the diamond - which really did cover almost the entire the finger - she painted the finger jerking off sharply to the right. It certainly looked unnatural, almost painful.

"Effective?"

Nibesa tilted her head in thought. Whilst Anouk's idea had been well thought out, the execution of it could prove tricky. The success of her painting would reside on whether the woman could correctly capture the angles, shadows and light to create a realistic-looking broken finger. When she spoke, Nibesa Imagedid so slowly. "Ye-s. I think. You'll have to add more detail, of course. Blood and the like."

Anouk nodded alongside her professor. Their discussion had freed her mind greatly, resulting in her having a clearer image of the end product for which she was aiming. And even better, she'd thought of a name for her painting.

The Dangers of Desire

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[The Art Studio] Pretty in Pink

Postby Perplexity on March 20th, 2015, 1:08 am

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Anouk :
Skills:
  • Philosophy | +3 EXP
    Investigation | +1 EXP
    Painting | +2 EXP
Lores:
  • Gossip: Professor’s Robes Turned Pink!
    Gossip: The Zeltivan Poltergeist
    Art Theory: All Great Art Has A Name
    Art Piece: The Dangers of Desire


Comments :
How interesting! I look forward to reading more of these insightful discussiong, Anouk. I am quite a fan of artwork interpretation. Well done.
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