Sunday, July 14, 2013

"Psalm 88" WIP

The next painting in my undergraduate senior project to get a facelift is one called "Psalm 88".

Like the others in the series, this one is also in oil. It met a minor tragedy after I had tried to apply liquid varnish when the paint was still wet. The night before I had to frame and hang the piece, I experimented with baking the finished painting in the oven. Much to my dismay, the painting was still very wet and I had to make some fast decisions, moving the paint around along with the fast-drying varnish so I would still have a relatively even coat instead of fail puddles. You see those cool vertical black streaks? Yeah...

One of the first things I did was flip the canvas. The painting now reads much closer to the narrative I want with the head coming first, then the hand, then the ship--granted you read a painting from left to right. The face is much different in a good way. It looks less like my face and more like my model's face now.

I also centered the body better and gave a tilt to the ship. Now that I mention it, I notice that the tilt of the ship is nearly parallel with the tilt of the body, so I will be changing that too...

You will also notice some blobby things underneath the man's body. Those will be fish. Lots of fish. The original painting had a handful of fish too, but many were swallowed by the wrath that is varnish.

This cool guy is made out of Sculpey clay and paper on a stick. He is my helpful fish-stick I am using as the ultimate source of reference. Trust me, you just won't find a photo of a school of fish swimming towards a camera.

I downsized the head a little bit and now I have started to delineate the fish. As I outlined the fish, I decided that I would keep the fish 2-dimensional looking. I think the effect successfully preserves the silhouettes of the fish (helping with compositional balance), emphasizes their symbolic importance in the painting's narrative, and most importantly, looks really cool.

More in-progress shots coming next week!

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