1: This picture started life as a way to use up some left-over paint from a session with my gargoyles painting back in 2007. It took me an hour or two to draw an outline and apply the basic structure you can see here directly to a piece of unprimed MDF. The painting was then ‘filed’ into the vast Drying racks of the Pyle Street Studio and remained at this stage for more than a year until I unearthed it whilst moving house & decided to carry on with it.
2: When the painting did finally make its way back onto the easel it was as another excuse to use up some left over paint, this time from my painting of Avi and Ed. I used a thin layer of dark crimson oil paint mixed with a 50/50 mixture of linseed oil and low odour thinners to fill in some of the shadows, clarify the edges and mark in any significant details.
3: Next a little yellow helps to even the tone and provide some more definition. Once this was down I began applying some lighter tones to bring out the texture of the skin and mark in some of the highlights within the features. These layers of slightly more opaque paint were then left to dry thoroughly for around a month. When they were totally dry I applied more fine layers of transparent colour to the opaque undertones before leaving the painting to dry again for several weeks.
4: After the painting was again totally dry I decided to rectify a few surface issues with some sandpaper. My boyfriend was utterly horrified to the point that I thought he was about to wrestle me out of the studio & give me a chance to consider my intentions but he resisted the urge and after a tense few moments the desired effect was achieved. After a thorough removal of any resultant dust I applied another semi transparent layer of skin and blended some more surface detail into this layer.
5: The final stages are always the most tense. Anxious not to mess with the hundreds of hours of work that go in to getting to this stage, any late tweeks are very nerve-racking. I often have to write a list at this point, detailing everything I notice that I want to change, THEN pick up a paint brush and resist the urge to deviate from the list. Once this is done I repeat the process until I begin to feel like the adjustments I’m making are too superficial even for me to notice the difference, then I can consider stopping… there is always more detail to include though: no limit to how far you can take it. Drawing the line is very difficult.
Here’s the finished piece. I have just been through the process of having my first run of professional Fine Art Prints made. If you’re interested in owning one, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂