2004- Young Ronda posing with her fellow Judoka in preparation for the World Junior Judo championships. Nothing but hard work at the Dojo.
Blood and tears visible on everyone but Ronda. She was having fun, she was in her element. The dojo was one place were she could be herself. At her young age she was about to become one of the biggest Judo stars in US history.
In the morning I saw a photo of a Judoka with her Judogi stained by blood. I decided to make a judo image. I went with the after class candid snapshot and how I could tell a story with the characters faces and body language. While gathering reference I saw a Ronda Rousey photo of her at the olympics and I remembered she is an amazing Judoka so I decided to make the image about her Judo career.
She is at the front of the class, all clean, tired and smiling and her classmates are all beat up. Contrast between clean vs dirty. Sketched all the characters very loosely at first and played with a horizontal composition and then a vertical one.
Painted the faces and tried to add blues and dark reds for the bruises, higher contrast on the faces but Ronda’s which has a clean and fresh color palette. It is way more fun and easy to not make super pretty symmetrical faces. -Gabo
Upon the highest ledge of a bookshelf, tucked within the far corner of the apartment that you had once shared with Seokjin, pages and pages of memories lie bound between the worn covers of a scrapbook years in the making.