After all these weeks of working on it, I cay say the magic words – “Its finished!”
There’s a good feeling of achievement, of a job well done, of reaching the goals I’d set myself. To produce a picture of Fitzy’s “fantasy willie” so that it doesn’t look immediately like what it actually is, to paint it as a fun and exciting picture, to put some clever technical details in it so that the eye is tricked into some deception over the subject. And this finished painting is tighter on the design than the working painting that I did, more finely tuned, I think. Plus, it’s painted on a large block canvas, so I’ve painted the four sides as a continuation of the main painting, which means that where ever it hangs, the finished image will look more “padded” than just a flat 2-D image in a frame would.
I love the way that the more I look at it the more I see different shapes within the picture – I can see a bird, a fish, an elephant, an oak leaf, a whale tail, and various letters of the alphabet. I love the flowing lines, the changes of colour, the way the eye wanders over the image and finds interest in the different shapes and contours, the way some of the colours mutate into other colours, the flat colour a good contrast to the softer tones painted thinly on the canvas and letting the white of the canvas below it to shine through. Even though the glazing technique that I’ve used here is really a watercolour technique, it works well enough on the large canvas and makes the painting more delicate in a way, than just flat colour does. Having said that, this is the most masculine of images, so it needs some good deep colour in the painting too, so that it is strong and powerful, and the areas of black paint certainly help to anchor the lighter colours within the painting. So, I’m really pleased with it. Infact, absolutely delighted with it, and Fitzy is too, so he tells me, so that’s two happy bunnies over this painting!!! LOL
And just to make the point, that the colours on the canvas are far stronger and yet more subtle than the image here shows. I think it’s the sort of painting you can never tire of – partly for the subject matter, the vibrant colours and flowing shapes within it, and the hidden shapes that appear to each person who views it, in different ways. Fitzy said he could see a fire breathing dragon, and tigers stripes in his first viewing of this picture….. and more images will appear, I’m sure! That’s what I love about my pictures, when other images appear to different people…….
So, it’s done.
But I haven’t finished. Not by a long way.
Because now I can start on the “living flame” picture that Fitzy also wants as a sibling to this one. They will hang together, so the colours need to match and enhance each other. I wanted to paint this one first, as the colour was applied flat in places, so by doing those first I got a good feel to how the canvas and paint react together. All surfaces react in different ways, and different paint does too – watercolours, gouache, acrylic and oils all have different feels to them on the brush, and how they are applied to the surface they sit on, and how absorbent that surface is – whether its watercolour papers, and all of those react in different ways too, board, gesso’d board, and canvas, all of those are different in their surfaces and absorbency, so it made sense to get the “feel” of the paint on the canvas before I started the tricky painting, and the living flame will be a bit tricky as it is created by “glazing” the paint…. in that a transparent colour is applied to the canvas (say pink) , then another translucent colour will be applied over the top (say yellow), allowing the lower colour to shine through the top colour (creating orange, in this example) – its a way of colour mixing on the surface, and is far more interesting to look at than just painting one colour.
So, that’s it, one down, another to go! 🙂