I’ve been away quite some time, and honestly, its been crazy busy. This place is something I’m unsure if I can keep going.
While I’ve been gone, I’ve had quite a few projects going, but most moved so quickly, that they didn’t warrant an entry here. One of the items I had ongoing was this painting. I already had the canvas that I had from my class, and didn’t care even a little about what had been on it previously. What it did have going for it was the size, and the cost of the canvas, or more specifically it had a thicker frame, which is better to have. I got it on discount as I never go to the chain art supply store for more than one item at a time, and I always print out one of their 40-60% off coupons, so I’m paying “at cost” for everything I get there. The good part is, you can print off the coupons, and if you travel about over a weekend, you can hit multiple stores. I’d only suggest this if you’re already going to that area anyway, as you’ll loose money on the fuel getting there.
At first, all I knew was I wanted to go over the canvas with a linen paper/sepia look. Taking significant amounts of white, and earth tones, I put a 8th inch layer on over the collage we had to do, and let it dry for a two weeks. The next part was deciding what would go on it now. To ensure I made every effort to find a new female companion, knowing it was unlikely, but needed to have a solid alibi for the few who might ask years down the road if I even tried, I took my small sketchbook to the few alcohol clubs I visited on weekends this past year. If you were there, and saw me sketching away in a quite corner, the sketches for this painting is what I was doing.
I set off with the background, doing all the mountains, and forest in the background. Yes, if you use technology to see in to the painting, I didn’t skip the areas that the main image would cover. I did the sky, the far mountains, and each layer of the forest in its entirety, allowing each layer to dry a few days beyond “touch dry”, and finally, allowed the last forest layer to sit for a few weeks before staring on Red and the Wolf.
Some oil paints can be translucent. Others are very opaque. This is that ‘Opacity” setting on your photo editing, or digital art software. This comes in to play as layers of colors are affected by the ones below it should they be even remotely translucent. With a night sky of various tones of blue, purple, and black, in this case, putting Crimson on top of that will cause a nearly black color to appear. In order to have very pale skin, and a very deep crimson, I had to outline both our main characters here, and fill that space with good ol’ Titanium white, and a thick layer to boot.
With that white space dry, only then would that Crimson pop out. Yes, that image I found online, but made a few changes to the dog, incorporating more wolf features such as making the ears smaller, and a more pronounced snout. The coloration of the hair was also altered, as wolfs tend to sport more grey and browns. For Red, most of the changes came about in the nose, and lips. They are indeed of a specific person, but I have no photo, nor memory of her with her eyes closed.
The background is from memory of a place I met this person. I debated long and hard about in inclusion of other elements present that night, as well as adding a lantern, but this would have detracted from the main idea of the painting. As often the case in the arts, you take a simple idea, and just do it well, instead of lots of good ideas crashing in to each other.
So there you go…Wolf and Red at night in the mountains.