Weekend Update

I haven’t been posting as regularly lately but that doesn’t mean that I have been idle. I’ve got four paintings going at the moment, two of which I haven’t yet posted online; one is the next in the series of shushing paintings and I’ve also started another still life.

I’m still working away on this one as well though.

Nelson and Theo (in progress)
Nelson and Theo (in progress)

I’m playing more with the textured backgrounds that I’ve been enjoying lately… there’s still a long way to go with this one but the major elements are there – colors of some of the elements will still shift a bit and I have a lot more work to do with the faces but it’s slowly getting there.

Weekend Update

I’ve been looking forward to the weekends more and more lately. It really feels like I’ve turned a bit of a corner with my painting and I can’t wait to get back into the studio.

Here’s a detail of the Shad painting that I’m still working on. I spent most of Saturday working on his clothing. I still need a finishing pass on the face and hands. Beyond that it’s really about finishing up the clothing and the background. I’m really hoping to finish this one off this coming weekend.

Shh (Shad, detail, in progress)
Shh (Shad, detail, in progress)

On Sunday I worked on the portrait of Kayti. I’ve been avoiding this painting, but as Don Draper says, “our greatest fears lie in anticipation.” (Sorry, AMC has been replaying Mad Men and I decided to see what all the fuss was about.) I’ve been a bit paralyzed every time I put it up on the easel. There’s so many technical details in this work and it’s showing so much promise that I’m afraid to screw it up. I don’t know why I get that sense of dread, I’ve had it before and every time I work on a painting it’s always better at the end of the day than at the start. Even if that weren’t the case; paint is completely malleable and I know that I can repaint it as many times as I need… but there it is, the anticipation gets me.

So once I got over fears and formulated a game-plan I just started mixing up my paints. That’s usually the crest of the hill for me, once the paints are out of the tube I don’t want to waste them so I just dive right in.

The plan is to get a good pass on her flowing platinum locks. Once that’s done I’ll be able to get the background to a more finalized state and then the rest of the portrait will be color-correctable. Once that’s done it’ll all be about the tattoos. But before that – the hair.

Kayti (detail, in progress)
Kayti (detail, in progress)

I’ve been using some of the Velazquez Medium from www.naturalpigments.com lately. It’s really nice for making the paint thicker but still long and ropey. Here’s a detail of the brushwork in the hair for any artist out there. I certainly love to push my nose right up the canvas when I’m looking at a painting to explore the surface. It’s something that you almost never get to see online.

Brushwork detail from Kayti
Brushwork detail from Kayti

Still a very long way to go with this one but I’m over the fear hurdle I think… at least I’m feeling confident that the major components are all going to be accomplishable in this painting. Now it’s just about iterating over them until I can’t execute them any better.

Weekend Update

I love having a long weekend. Usually it means that I get an extra painting day. Here’s an update on the paintings I was working on this weekend.

This was the bulk of the day on Monday. The composition really requires this portion of the painting to feel very solid and have a believable weight so I wanted to get it working early on. There’s still a very long way to go and I haven’t even really begun the portraits but I’m quite happy with the progress so far.

Nelson and Theo (detail, in progress)
Nelson and Theo (detail, in progress)

Saturday I spent most of the day on the next pass of the portrait for this work. It’s going to need maybe one more good pass to finish it off but I’m starting to get it dialed in. On Sunday I scumbled a nice blue texture over the background. It probably needs some more lighter tones in the background as well so it doesn’t feel so monochromatic but I’m really loving the scumbled background effect. Hoping to be able to finish this one off this month. The clothing needs the most attention at this point.

Shh (Shad, detail, in progress)
Shh (Shad, detail, in progress)