• Holly Manohar

Queen of Diamonds


This is piece was a part of a project with Hive Durango. 52 artists got together to make a deck of cards. Each artist made one piece of art for the deck. I chose the Queen of Diamonds.


Originally, she was a black and white sketch in my sketchbook and I figured she could easily be dazzled up to look like a queen. I inked the sketch (which in retrospect I did not need to do) and then I painted it with gouache. I love love love African textiles. They are super vibrant. I made up my own textile pattern with shapes of diamonds and other diamond type patterns.


I remember how fabulously dressed the women in Ghana were. Every day they wore beautifully vibrant textiles that were stitched into perfectly fitting dresses with matching head dresses. On Sunday, they were even more beautiful! Every day walking down the streets I admired the grace, dignity and beauty of these hard working, highly fashionable women.


This character I invented in the painting is only loosely based on my experience in Ghana. She is a figment of my imagination, entirely made up. In my mind she is a fabulous village queen from an imaginary village in my mind made up of some memories and some other random subconscious stuff.


One of the things I played with in this piece was outlining in black. (It isn't true black, it is a black I made). I love bold lines that are often found in comic art and graphic novel art. I wanted to see if you could add bold lines around a character that had subtle values to illustrate the form and still have it look good. I think it worked out well! I love outlines. I know it makes things less realistic, but I think they are fun and bold. I can definitely see myself doing this again in another piece.


Right now, I am working on a painting that is loosely inspired by stained glass but it has a human figure in it. Stained glass always has dark lines in it from the lead cam or the solder. That piece will definitely have more outlining and dark line work in it.


I hope you create something bold thing week! Explore a new way of doing something you have done before. Try adding a visual element that you have never added. Or maybe create a character that is loosely based on a memory but largely a creative playground.


- Holly Manohar

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