Monday, September 28, 2015

Day 10 - Painting Over the Finished Underpainting

This is what the Final Judgment looks like in my studio this morning.  The underpainting is crude but done to my liking.  I've never been much of a perfectionist in the under layer.  What the hell is the point of doing something perfect that you paint over?  That's just my personal preference and something that works for me.  Even though this painting will not be something rendered in my normal "realistic" technique of Baroque naturalism, I don't see the need of going any further on it, especially with only four weeks to go on this project.

As per my client's request, the composition will be more of a 16th century mannerist style and much of the composition was decided on before the project was given to me.  There are several references to the great final judgement scenes of that time period and I'm very excited to take on the challenge of doing something this complex in a very short amount of time.  There's nothing better than an extreme deadline to bring out the best in us.

I have, however, decided to be a little more conservative about beating myself up this time.  Since I painted the last commission I've decided to scale back my late hours and I've stopped drinking coffee.  This doesn't mean I won't be giving my all and working some long days but working so many late hours over the last 20 years is going to catch up to me sooner or later.  I fought off about 5 different colds while trying to paint the other commission on three hours of sleep for two months.  My immune system couldn't handle it.  I'm in the best shape of my life today, just a week before my 42nd birthday.  I'm training hard to keep it that way and for my health I need the sleep.  That is where I'm at today.  Who knows what I'll be feeling a week from now but that's how I feel today.

Thanks for following along and sharing this blog with your friends.  It's going to get crazy from here on out.

Day 2-9 Getting the Rough Layout Finished

Sorry to group a bunch of days together.  I've had a pretty packed schedule the last week and I haven't had the time to keep up with this blog.  I did, however, get a bunch of photos of the painting in progress during that time.

I began work on the canvas using a rough grisaille in oil with turpentine, unlike the last painting that I did the underpainting in acrylic.  After a few days I decided to go back to that method again.  The speed at which I could build up skin tones will be much better and it really helps with the dark areas on the bottom of the painting.

You can see a few days in where I even had my son, Alexei (7) and my daughter Milla (10) helping me block in the bodies of the painting.  They did a good job even though I think there was more paint on the plastic tarp and the baseboard.  A few minutes later I had to relieve them of their duties before the hardwood floor was completely ruined and Mom threw all of us out.  lol  I can't complain though because they saved me several hours of work.

Day 1 - Take Down "The Damned"

Welcome back to my blog, Three Months in Heaven and Hell.  Originally the commission was for me to finish two enormous paintings in three months by the end of December 2014.  After a few delays in the project I completed the first painting in 60 days by early 2015.  The second painting, The Final Judgement was on hold until August 2015 when I got the green light to start on it.  It's funny to note that even though both of these paintings were nearly a year apart, I am still working under the same deadline of "three months" so the title of this blog isn't really as off as I thought it was.  If I had to say, truthfully,  how many days I truly worked on the first painting during the Christmas season, it was more like 45-50 days out of the 60.  With only 5 1/2 weeks to work on this new painting the math all works out.

Here are some shots of day 1 taking down the first mural and getting ready to put up canvas #2.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Some Last Minute Changes to The Damned - Officially Moving on to The Final Judgement

After a few days of making some alterations to the first painting "The Damned" I'm officially moving on to the second painting in the commission "The Final Judgement."  My client wanted a little more people in the mid-ground and background of the painting and a few of the figures to be altered.  I did a final glaze of Cadmium Red and Vermillion on all the flesh  to marry the skin tones to the environment.  After it dries in the next 24 hours I will be rolling up the canvas onto a tube and getting the second canvas ready to be taped on the walls of my studio.  Some shots before the changes and after are posted below.