It's been a busy few days.
Along with personal projects and a new commission, i'm editing together a promo for my painting 'Innocence And Experience'. These handsome guys are now for sale at Saatchiart.com online as a limited edition and also as the original painting itself.
I have a strange feeling at the prospect letting these guys go.
You see, spending so much time with them has been a real pleasure. From the first concept which was basically just a line sketch on paper, to refining them with each layer of paint, honing them to be the people in my mind, and trying not to make them look too 'polished' - the concept that these figures are almost dreamlike...almost sculpted from stone, but never quite 'finished, trapped between fantasy and reality.
The blood sweat and tears that went into producing this artwork, however, I feel has been time well spent, and i'm glad you've all been following along the journey with me.
Yup, i'll be sad to see them go, but to be honest if they stay much longer i'm going to have to start charging them rent!
Here's the link for the limited edition. I'm only releasing a 100 of them worldwide, so if you've been following along with their story and they tickle your fancy then treat yourself.
And here's the original painting.
Have a look and a read of their story.
Hope you're having a creative day too!
What about this one?
I was standing with a few 'proof' prints of my 'Innocence and Experience' painting, and asking my poor flatmate his opinion.
"They all kinda look the same" he says.
And to be honest that was pretty much it.
I had spent yesterday printing out variations of the piece. Fine tuning a wee bit of brightness and contrast here, a wee bit of cyan, magenta, and yellow there.
Looking over them with a magnifying glass...standing them on top of the actual painting itself...parading from room to room to where I might get the best light to see them with.
In the end my eyes were going doolally.
I decided to give them a rest overnight.
And yup, on closer inspection, today's keyword will be 'subtlety'.
What I had thought yesterday were marked differences in colour, contrast and brightness, were, on today's viewing, actually very slight variations.
"No one would be able to tell the difference" he says.
"I would though. There's no way i'm sending out anything that I wouldn't be happy with" I said.
And trust me, reader, these are the kind of things that keep artists awake at night.
The brightness, the contrast, the colour...how much border to leave for matting, to what looks good in a frame...to the weight of the paper and it's texture - and yup - I went through 17 different types to get the one that i'm happy with for my artwork. It had to have the right white point, and thickness and feel in my hands.
It's worth it though. If you end up buying one of these limited edition prints then you'll know that the whole process from start to finish has been done by me. From painting, through to photographing the artwork, to colour proofing and printing.
You'll also know that i've been a bit obsessive about it and that if i'm not happy with it then it doesn't even get sent out the door!
And after all that 'alchemy' the final print is below.
I'll pop up links to where you can buy these handsome chaps asap.
Hope you're having a creative day!
Today was one of those days that I was struck with 'canvas fear', or 'paintbrush paralysis'!
If you've ever put brush to canvas you'll know exactly what I mean, especially if working in layers. The fear that whatever you do now will spoil what's gone before and that there will be no way back.
I just stood there gawping at the piece this morning. My paints were all made up, brushes all clean, medium all mixed, but I just couldn't get started.
I did that thing where you start bargaining with yourself...i'll just make a cup of tea first, then, ok i'll just put on a washing first, then ok, i'll take out the recycling.
I'm used to canvas fear when i have a pristine new white canvas out the wrapper. My coping mechanism with that barrier is to put a toned raw or burnt umber and white mix colour over it. Psychologically for me it's an easy way of starting and also helps judge tonal values when i come to painting the actual figure or scene.
After an hour, having done all my chores, and almost heading out to ask if anyone else needed any chores done, and having made a second cup of tea, I picked up a size 6 filbert and added some tone to the left hand guy in the pic below's cheek.
Barrier broken...even if it was the wrong value tone and took me another while of chasing oil around his face to try and correct it.
I'll have a look at him tomorrow with fresh eyes and see where to chase the oil paint.
Hope you're having a creative day!
Added a splash more colour to the background of "Innocence And Experience" from the 'Wallflowers" series of oil paintings I'm working on.
I enjoyed painting the fancy pink flowers, and they matched the look I was going for - old wallpaper styling of the 50s/60s. However, moving on to the various green leaves on the vines I just couldn't settle on the right shades at first, as each particular type needs to have it's own little palette.
When it came to the leaves in the middle of the two guys, the ones that are wrapping around the flower head, I thought, why not embolden them with some lines. They look a little blurry at moment, but i'm thinking of them a couple of layers from now, with added detail, and hopefuly they'll look pretty sweet.
Hope you're having a creative day!
Firstly, Happy New Year! I hope 2017 brings you everything you wish for!
Me, well, i'm looking to devote even more time to painting - perhaps even revisit some of the half finished canvases I have tucked away, guiltily hiding in the corner!
Today though, i've been working on "Wallflowers". It's a nice size of piece measuring 32 inches by 20 inches, and i'm enjoying working to that size.
I've been concentrating on the fella on the right's back, building up the muscle form. Looking forward to the next layer where i'll work in more detail on it.
The next stage with this piece will be adding finer detail to the plants and insects, birds in the background. It's actually based on the old wallpaper designs of yesteryear, hence the name of the "Wallflowers" series name of which this piece "Innocence and Experience" is a member.
Hope you're having a fantastically creative day too.
Today i've tackled the face of the fella on the right. He's looking a bit less 'cave painting' and more 'ruggedly handsome'. Not trying to make him too smooth though, as i'd still like to keep him a little rough around the edges compared to the fella on the left. Kinda going for an innocence versus experience vibe.
Tomorrow i'll give their bodies a little tickle with the paintbrush, and maybe run a comb through their hair too!
Have a creative day and speak soon!
I've spent today adding the next layer to the face of the fella on the left. Blending a little - but not too much as I like the roughness of the layer below.
Another thing i'm trying to do is retain a sense of innocence about him, whilst his pal is a little more 'knowledgable'. I feel myself, he's lost a little of it in this layer, but when i move on to do the next i'll aim to inject a bit more naeivity back into those eyes!
Hope you're enjoying the progression of this wee piece too!
Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You!
Today i've been blocking in the background plants, flowers etc, in my 'Wallflowers' painting. It's still hard to leave them as blocky when I just want to fire in there with a wee teeny brush for details..but if I did that, the colours would just all mush together and look like mud.
Patience wee grasshopper...patience.
When I was hanging the piece back up on the wall - high enough that my cat won't contribute to the scene by wiping his tail against it, I decided to have a check to see if the guys eyes were following me about the room.
Aye, these beggars are certainly getting a good eyeful. I'll need to make sure i'm amply covered after my bath to protect my innocence.
Hope yer having a creative day, and i'll see ye tomorra!
Just a wee update on the progression of the 'Wallflowers' series of paintings.
So far i've sketched each of these pieces out using some raw umber, and the next stage as we can see in the first two paintings is to block in some tonal values - i've done this with the grey value scale. Im using thinner with this layer so and the result is that you can still see the canvas through them, but that's what happens when you follow the fat over lean principle.
I'm painting each of these pieces in layers, which means that each successive layer has to be a bit more stretchy than the one below it, so that the paint doesn't crack. To this end I add a bit more medium (the 'fat') to each layer as i progress...think of an oil painting like one big sandwich, each layer getting fatter...er, now i'm feeling hungry!
This final guy below, well he's still a very skinny sandwich..just the canvas, toned ground and raw umber sketch at the moment. I think i'll start fattening him up tomorrow or Friday, or else he'll end up eating all the wee butterflies.
I'm going to set up a page for each of these paintings, on the website, at the weekend, so that I can show each progression. I'm always fascinated when i watch how other artists works come together, so hopefully you'll get a kick out of mine too!
Have a creative day and i'll see ye tomorra!
Words And Pictures!
If you've been following the blog you'll know that i've been setting aside more time for painting on canvas, and i've been sharing the pieces i'm working on in the form of 'Diary Of A Painting'.
Here's a wee glimpse of 'Wallflowers', that i've been working on today.
I'll go more into the backstory of this painting when I do the full 'Diary' blog, including why, like a few pieces, I started it last year, and it's only now that it's getting more of my attention.
One of the fantastic benefits of devoting time to painting is that i'm rediscovering my joy of listening to the radio whilst working - it really has been amazing, and i've been discovering quite a few wee gems on the BBC radio player.
So far this week i've been listening to -
HG Wells's 'A Dream Of Armageddon',
Gerald Scarfe's 'Donald Gets Drafted
Toby Jones's 'The Villian In Six Parts'
'Down With Skool - The Art of Molesworth'
'Don't Be Rude On The Road'
Seriously, give your telly a break and tune in to the radio, there's some absolute brilliant programmes available.
i'm already lining up 'Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?' For tomorrow!
Have a creative day and i'll see ye tomorra,
Whit's he up tae noo?
The blog posts of David Brodie, a Scottish artist based near Glasgow.