I’ve been annoying my friends and family on Facebook lately by posting pictures of an underpainting. The silly part is, the subject of said underpainting was completely unrecognizable. So I subsequently made everyone guess at what the hell I was working on. (someone finally got it, so my FB folks are happily safe from my pictorial mysteries … for now.) I found the activity super fun – so much so, I decided to blog out these same pictures here.
This is a telling story of the new eyes an artist must adopt in order to paint something. When you take on a subject, you are no longer relying on your mental preconceptions of what that subject looks like. (if you do, you are probably going to leave out a lot of the detail, nuance and unique beauty of the subject). Rather, you look at the thing with fresh eyes and break it up into abstract shapes & simplified areas of dark and light. You place those shapes on your canvas with a big brush, and slowly build up with color and temperature and feeling. Putting together this puzzle of shapes and shadows slowly creates the subject you are rendering. It is a pretty joyful process putting this onto canvas and watching it ripen.
So this particular painting is still in its infancy. So much more development is yet to occur. For now, see if you can solve the mystery of what the hell this is.