Fantasy Art

Friday, May 27, 2016

Are You Following Me?

This painting was done at least a year before the last one.  I'd learned a lot in between the two so I certainly feel like "Goblin Queen" is a better painting over all, but there's a lot I still like about this one.
The board that it's painted on is 4 feet tall and a little more than a foot wide.  It's something I had been saving to make a sign out of, but that work wasn't coming in so I decided to use my materials on my own projects.
Having freed myself of the notion of doing art for any particular purpose or market (it's not a sign or an illustration or fine art, it's just me doing my thing) I was able to just go with my instincts and make whatever came to mind.
First the background was done in a faux finish technique using splattering and sponging and ragging until it looked like old stone.  I then achieved the carved look with some dark and light glazes to create highlights and shadows.  This is very quick and easy, I've painted entire rooms like this in a single day back in my mural painting days.  It was all done with acrylic house paint.
Unfortunately I didn't take any step by step photos at the time, but I think I sketched the girl in vine charcoal and then used a razor-blade perpendicular to the surface to scrape the paint smooth from all the faux finish texture.
Then I did the rest in oil paint.
You can see the sign painter in me showing through in this entire painting.  Faux finishes, decorative borders, centered composition, orange against blue contrast, and skin tones that are more about luscious color than accuracy.
 In many ways it's more like a sign than an illustration, but I wasn't trying to do either, I was just having fun and rolling with my impulses.
Another nice thing is that the finished painting could have hanging wires screwed right into the back of the board so no frame is required.  In fact the wire and clips were practically my only cost making this painting.  That was important because I was broke at the time, but now it's just become an enjoyable quirk of my art to use whatever material I can find to paint on.  It's challenging and it keeps me from settling into any kind of standard such as book cover format or standard frame sizes.
People said she looked like someone was following her so she's getting defensive.  Hence the title: "Are You Following Me?

 I know that the end of my sign painting career had more to do with the economy and the sudden affordability of computer printed signs, but when you make a living at something for twenty years and then suddenly you can't make it work, it's easy to convince yourself that you've simply "lost it" and you're all washed up and not useful anymore.  At least that's how I felt.
Consequently the success and sale of this kind of painting was very instrumental in restoring the self confidence I'd lost.

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