Sunday, August 24, 2008

Light Against Dark, or Hello Kitty

Light against dark. This is a mantra I end up chanting every time I paint. My Mother first tried to convey this concept to me as a boy watching her paint. Our styles differ quite a bit with her loose strokes and confident brush work. Mine is more guarded, trying to hide my brush strokes and push toward a photo real quality.

This post shows the various progressions of my oil painting:"Pink Pussycat". I wanted to do something a little disturbing so I chose my favorite theme of anthropomorphic characters. This time with a twist on childhood memories done in a mature realistic manner that I hope is slightly sinister.

I did a photo collage grafting Smokey the kittens head onto a dolls body as my guide. I sketched the image onto a canvas using burnt umber and let that dry. You can see the under sketch through my first ‘blocking in’ of color. I toned the whole surface going from lightest to dark.

Next came more defining of shadows and highlights. I tried to knock down any brush strokes with a round brush to keep them soft and defuse.

Lastly I added the details defining ribbons and flowers. The whiskers and signature finished it off.

Incidentally, my wife hates this picture. She says it's wrong and it really bothers her that a grown adult male should paint a kitty in a pink dress. I’m a little thrilled that one of my paintings can cause such a strong response. Maybe I shouldn’t be. (click on images to enlarge)

No comments: