Friday, December 9, 2011

Progress to Completion: Bad Luck Girls

"Bad Luck Girls"
36"H by 36"W, on canvas. 
(click for enlargement)

This is something I've started over the past weekend. If you look closely you'll see a discoloration in the surface, especially in the left side. That is because I have used acrylic matte medium to laminate four pieces of paper onto a canvas so that I could continue my drawing all the way out to the edges. Some of the matte medium has gotten on to the surface but it doesn't seem to affect the way the charcoal rubs onto it at all.

So far, work on the paintings in the studio is phenomenally slow, but I've been reassured by several people that it's to be expected so soon after having a baby. I have a play pen all set up, waiting for the day when he will tolerate being put down with some toys while I work. 

I've decided to keep updating this post with my progress. After four hours of painting, I've got this:

(click for enlargement)
Acrylic! For a brief moment with my napthanol red, I thought "Wow, just like my oils. This isn't at all hard." Sadly, the only reason the paint felt thicker and more buttery is because I've had the tube for five years. Once I moved to other colors it seemed thin and watery, so I'm thinking of getting a tub of heavy gel medium and seeing if that helps to compensate for the lack of texture. Maybe Golden's OPEN line will be more like what I'm used to. It's on my Christmas list.

Here it is after six hours of work:

(click for enlargement)

The lavender shoe at the top right seems badly drawn right now. I will come back to it after I get all the shoes blocked in. At this point all my concerns are about the technical aspects of the painting, and later, when I'm wrapping it up, I'll start to think about it as an art object, rather than something I'm working on.

I really should throw out my tube of cobalt blue. For one, I suspect it has actual cobalt in it, which is a toxin. But I'm stubborn, and despite a texture like blue plastic cottage cheese, I painted the blue satin shoes. Not nearly as finished, but at least they're blocked in.

Here's the completed piece:

(click for enlargement)

I have varnished this piece so it is incredibly difficult to photograph without having some light bounce off the surface.  I named it Bad Luck Girls primarily because of the open umbrella that served as the background to the still life. Also, there are thirteen shoes depicted in it, although one is incredibly hard to spot. 

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