Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In Memoriam and Illumined from Within

Today I had a lot of stuff going on with deliveries of artwork for an upcoming student art show, but thankfully I also got some painting done.  Last night I had a chance to draw 2 pictures onto their canvases.  Today I finished the third then began painting right away.  I was accompanied by Julie Child's book on tape, My Life in France.  That was a fun accompaniment.

In Memoriam was the first piece I worked on.  It's very small, just 8"x12".  This is the underpainting/first layer.  The model has a tattoo on the back of her neck which I will put on there once I've made the skin a bit more refined looking. I'm looking forward to playing with her hair too.  There is some very beautiful light on individual strands, making her neck look even more elegant.  That'll be fun to work with.   It feels like a good start so far.

The second piece is quite complex and dramatic and is proving a lot of fun to work on.  It's of a woman out in the woods leaning over her knees.  The light struck her in such a way that it appears she is shining from within.  I'm very excited about the image. 

Looking at the first stage on the left, it's hard for me to see that it'll ever turn into anything I'll like.  I can say that now, but as I worked on it, I felt like it was wonderful, going beautifully, looked great.  It's only in hindsight that I can see that my vision of what it will be is sometimes stronger than the reality in the moment.  That's a good thing!  Otherwise I might never finish anything!

The right hand side is much more complete, but still only has a couple of layers of paint on it, and I haven't done the far right side at all yet.  The model has amazing cascading red/maroon/orange hair falling over her arm and knees - those are shadows from the hair on her knees looking confusingly like flames or something odd.  It's going to be so much fun to refine this piece and make it glow.  The final touch will be to draw her tattoo on the whole length of her arm.  Yikes!  I haven't really painted many tattoos yet, so this will be a real challenge - to represent the beautiful art of the tattoo artists on the models' bodies and do it well.  The tattoos my models have are quite complex and detailed, so it will take a great deal of work to represent them well.  Part of me would like to ignore the fact of them, but I am pretty sure that wouldn't be an accurate representation of these women if I did that!  So onward ho!  Can't wait to see how they turn out!

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