Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Day 43 New Years Eve


Back to work today on one of the central demon clusters.  Having to sit on a table to work.  I don't know if it is the cold I have or not but my back has really been hurting the past few days.  My head feels like 100lbs and my energy is low but nothing is going to keep me from getting a good days work in.  I didn't get to work too much yesterday on "The Damned."  I have another commission for a life sized "Crucifixion" that is due for a church in Ohio by Lent.  Now would be a good time to start!  I spent the day working up an incredibly dramatic composition and the rest of the evening building a 4ft x 8ft panel for it.  I puttied it and came up to my studio to work.  I'll gesso it every hour or so and by the morning it will be ready to paint on.  I will be juggling both paintings for the next few weeks.

Anyhow, here is a shot of the painting as of December 27th.  I've worked my way to the left side of the painting along the bottom.  I'm working on the larger demons in the middle.  You'll see a lot of areas that are more white or blurry.  Those are still in the sketch stage.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Day 41

12:23 AM (next day)

Finishing up after just over 12 hours of work today.  I'm going to bed early tonight.  I've been feeling very sick, mostly sinus congestion all day.  My back was hurting earlier in the day but I worked through it.  I had an awesome day of painting, however.  I finished another two full bodies and three heads near the bottom of the painting just to the left of the photo below.  Everything is working out well.  I have 21 more full figures to finish.  At this rate I should make it under my desired timeline of the next 7-10 days.   Hopefully a good night's rest will help me beat this cold.

11:54 AM

Woke up pretty sick this morning - sinus cold.  The last two nights I've been having trouble getting to sleep after working so long.  This is weird because I'm usually exhausted when I'm finished painting.  I've even started taking Melatonin but the last two nights it hasn't helped.  This schedule is getting the best of me.  At least the holidays are over so I'm happy to have an even longer, uninterrupted schedule.   Fortunately, I just had a nice morning coffee break with Mrs. Armusik and I'm sitting down again to paint.   I just thought I'd post a shot my daughter took of me and about 1/3 of the painting as of Christmas day.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Day 40

11:24 PM

Happy holidays, everyone!

First, I want to apologize for not posting any shots of "The Damned" in progress since day 16.  I am at a critical point in the project and I want to make sure that my client sees the painting in progress before I announce it on social media, a courtesy they most certainly deserve.

So, what have I been up to for the last three weeks?  Work, what else?  In truth, the painting has been going very well.  I've been pushing the boundaries of my normal style to allow for more surrealism and mannerism into the figures in this painting.  The effect is really dramatic and unsettling.  I've been working quicker than I normally do in painting the figures but even so it takes me an entire day to paint 1-2 bodies.  Fortunately, I've finished about 2/3 of the over 60 large figures in the painting and I am hoping to finish the painting in the next 7-10 days, provided the work I've completed is approved.  Being able to finish such a large painting in under 50 days would be an epic feat to say the least.  I've given it everything I have the last three weeks working as late as 4AM and getting up at 6AM to get the kids ready for school.

The last three weeks has been coffee, Visine, Airborne, exercise, paint...repeat, but I think you're going to really love the results.  Feeling exhausted at the moment and fighting off another cold.  It's my bodies way of saying I need to get a little bit of sleep so I'm signing off.

I'll be posting in the next few days or so.

Nightmare on Day 33

I guess it was inevitable that I would be thinking of this subject matter in my sleep.  I painted all night until about 3:30AM and proceeded to go to bed.  Alexei crawled into bed that night with Rebekah so it was the three of us.  I fell asleep almost immediately due to exhaustion.  Within 20 minutes I was screaming in my sleep.  It was one of those terrible dreams where you can't cry out for someone.  I was being possessed by a dark cloud forcing it's way into my ribcage.  Rebekah was in the other room about 15 feet away.  My attempts to scream in my dream were apparently real.  Poor Alexei was crying and Rebekah woke up very upset as well.  Scared the hell out of me.  I'll be glad to move onto the "Final Judgement" painting in January.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Day 16

2:55 AM  (Day 17)

I had a really great night of painting this session.  Seven more hours of work primarily in the middle of the eastern portion of the canvas.  Here I have a scene with a landscape of impaled figures in the distance, primarily in silhouette.  To the right and more in the mid ground I borrowed an element from Hieronymus Bosch's "Christ's Descent into Hell."

My client is looking for a more surrealistic approach to the landscape and some of the figurative compositions.  I've always admired Bosch's work and this will work nicely for some of the small clusters of figures.

Before tonight's session

Painting impaled bodies in the distance

Got the middle of this area roughed in.  Looking to move onto the red abyss that is solid red tomorrow.  

A little detail of the field of impaled bodies
Things are going well even though I have only three more weeks to finish this.  I am hoping once I feel 100% better I'll be putting in triple time on this painting - especially once it is time to start working on the figures, of which there are over 50.  Though the size of this piece is sometimes daunting, once you stand back and think, "I haven't done a thing all night on this," the painting is progressing now that I have more than two weeks to look back at.  I feel a lot better now than I did the day I committed to this project.  There's something about being in the middle of a strange new project that is far more comfortable than speculating how things will go.  More tomorrow.  I need sleep.  The kids will be up in three hours.

8:58 PM

Sorry I didn't get a chance to post anything last night.  I was only able to work a few hours before this head cold put an early end to the night.  I'm feeling a little better tonight so I'll post more in a few hours.  This is where I am at the moment, on the east side of the painting in a distant field of impaled bodies.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Day 14

2:20 AM

Had another good painting night even though I'm sick again.  The cold has moved up into my sinuses and I'm taking Airborne to keep it from getting worse.  Had to go to a concert for my girls this evening so I didn't get started until later in the day.  Another six hours of work on it today.  I spent this evening working on the left side of the painting, getting the bottom jaw of the wolf fish roughed in, a few bodies, a cavernous landscape in the mid ground and some flames in the lefthand foreground.  Overall I'm happy with where it is going.  Once I rough in enough of the foreground I'll start working on figures.  I see lots of great potential for strong expressions and emotions in this piece.  I'm also going to be buying a video camera so I can start to film some of the work on this painting.  I'm getting a lot of requests to show techniques so I just wanted you to know you can look for it soon.  If anyone has any questions about anything FOLLOW the blog and comment!  Thanks very much for your support.  Good night...

Worked on the bottom of the wolf fish, roughed in the flames and some of the background caves and stones

This shot is a little closer to the color and contrast.  This painting is so hard to shoot because of it's size and how it fits in my studio.  I'll be working on some of the figures soon.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Days 12 & 13

Day 13

1:11 AM

Though I woke up sick this morning I spent most of the day working on this painting.  The longer I worked the better I felt.  I had to take Airborne and I tried to drink lots of fluids and homemade vegetable juice to kill this thing quickly.  At the moment I'm feeling really great and I would really like to paint for a few more hours but I should sleep just to be sure.  I was able to paint almost 12 hours today.

I spent the day working on the nebula of fire behind satan, who is in the center of the painting.  I also painted in some of the fiery clouds to his left and I started painting the large wolf fish that has several bodies in his fiery mouth.  My client loves the work of Hieronymus Bosch and Dieric Bouts.  I wanted to draw on the use of animals found in their works to enhance the terror of the scene while marrying the painting to a certain tradition of hell paintings.  I have another pass on the fish yet but this is a pretty good start.  I'll be working on satan too once I get more of the sky and landscaping in.  My plan is to move onto the figures once the scene looks the way I have it in my mind.

Time for bed.  I'm hoping to wake up feeling better.  Too much to do.

The colon on this one is terrible.  I apologize.  The reds are much more subtle behind the devil.  The top and the left are a little more representative of how it looks in person

My "wolf fish" - I worked on the top of his.  The inside of his mouth will be on fire and two bodies will be burring in the fire.  I have another pass on him tomorrow to push out the highlights.

A quick overall shot.  Not the best since the left side is glared out by light.  As you can see at this point most of the top and the middle have been roughed in so far.

Day 12

I apologize for not posting last night.  I thought I my nose and throat were getting agitated by the amount of medium I'm using on this piece for the background.  It never bothered me before but I never work on areas this large at one time.  Though I made efforts to ventilate the room with two fans my throat was still bothering me.  I got in six hours of painting nonetheless and went to bed at 11PM only to wake up in the middle of the night to a sore throat and a cold.