The naked man who I have spent most of the last couple of days with is almost ready to leave me. I’ve spent a few hours getting him how I want him, tweaking and adjusting where necessary and viewing him upside down to make sure he’s fully there. As you do! 🙂
An odd thing to do, I’m sure you think, but that’s the best way to check when you’ve painted someone, particularly a nude, that the shades, colours, tones and lines are all correct. When you look at an image to paint, the brain overrides what is actually there to read “what should be” so you have to bypass that bit by putting the image upside down, which doesn’t read as any recognisable shape as far as the brain is concerned, and then you can see the ever so slight tiny nuances of changes of colour and tone, and adjust it accordingly. I never paint the whole image upside down, because strangely enough that wouldn’t work as a finished picture. No, its just for checking when the image is nine tenths finished, and sharpens up the bits that aren’t quite right. And its mainly for when I paint a face or a naked figure, as the adjustments can be so slight that you hardly see that they’ve been made, and I use my smallest paint brushes to do it with. But if I showed you the nine tenths finished painting, and the totally finished painting you’d notice that the totally finished one just looks better overall, more complete somehow.
So, he’s almost ready to go, and I am thinking about my next commission. Or at least I hope very much that it is my next commission, because it’s something that is fascinating me as a subject matter. I have had three or four long chats on the phone with the guy who is interested in me doing this painting for him (and I mean long chats – a few hours worth), and we haven’t even got to the point of discussing whether its going to be in oils or acrylics or watercolours, on canvas or board, the size of it, the use of colours, the painting style, the price, or even the subject matter fully. But he and I know that we have to have the discussions we have had first, for me to fully understand the subject matter he wants me to paint for him. Its a new subject for me, but one that is certainly erotic, and sensual, two things that I love to put together, although they should always be together as far as I am concerned – erotic and sensual – although it is possible to paint something sensual that is not erotic – enjoying eating a delicious meal by candlelight, or bathing in the sea on a bright sunlit day, are both sensual experiences.
But, his idea as we’ve discussed so far is certainly very much of the erotic and sensual, but more than that as well. And its something that he knows a lot about, because of his job. And I know a lot about art, because that is my job. So the long conversations so far have been the pair of us brain storming ideas to put together for his special painting. Because I know that the various ideas in his head can be painted, and depicted as the fabulous concepts they are. And I know that there are very few other artists who could do what he is asking for. But I know that I can.