The oil painting of Roger and Kathy started with a drawing on cartridge paper, working from the photos I’d taken of them. I made adjustments where necessary and when fully happy with it, transferred it across to the box canvas as shown here. The easiest way of doing that was to grid it off, to make sure that the drawing would be a replica on the canvas – which is why you can see the faint horizontal and vertical lines in the background. But you’ll see that I made an adjustment further along in the painting from a couple of the lines here.
When I was happy that it was as correct a drawing as I could make, it was time to get some colour on it….
The second stage was acrylics, even though the finished painting was to be in oils. Acrylics are a good base for the oils, giving a solid base on the canvas for depth of colour. I wasn’t bothered about the background particularly as I had been instructed by Roger and Kathy to paint soft muted colours. But, I wanted to get the red of Kathys hair in, and the skin tones blocked in at this stage, carefully keeping to the pencil lines of the drawing. The acrylics dried very quickly meaning I could get on with the oils proper now.
Now it was time for the first layer of oils to go on the painting, and these emulated the acrylics blocking-in under them but I fine tuned parts as I did them, knowing that I would build up colour and skin tones later on in the painting. Oils are brilliant for that subtle effect.
Now it was time to start building up the fine detail and I started with Kathy first as she is on the left hand side of the painting and since I am (mostly!) right-handed it meant I could paint without smearing what was already done.
The final stages were about getting more and more fine detail in both their faces and bodies, giving this loving couple a good interaction as they cuddle each other and look into each others eyes. I left the background to last although wanted part of it on so that I could merge it around the couple rather than it look harsh around them. I also spent a lot of time getting their jewellery right, using a tiny brush to pick up the subtle lights on the gold. I also wanted to make sure that the tattoos were correct as well, although I didn’t draw the mermaid on Rogers left shoulder in as much detail as it was in the photo I was working from, because if I had you would have looked straight at it instead of at their faces, which were the obvious focal points in the picture. I also made a decision to get rid of the calf on Kathys leg that was in the original drawing as it was misleading as to what it was, so it became the background at this point, making the gap between her legs crisper and more defined and making the picture more dramatic with the dark blue triangle leading up to her fanny.
The finished painting! The hazy background colours were painted in with strong brush strokes, giving texture and movement to the oil paint. I put a lot of blue in the background as that made the paler skin tones stand out more and gave a better contrast to the two figures as well. The fantasy aspect of the setting was subtly added to by the fact that they appear to be kneeling within a watery pool – the reason for this being that bodies of water are an important feature in their lives and this effect alluded to that fact.
And the last part after the oils had fully dried was to flick tiny specks of gold into Kathy’s hair since it is very much her trademark.
A sexy painting of a loving couple, in an elegant and sensual pose. I love the way they are looking at each other, the eye contact they have, the way that Kathy is looking enigmatically at her man but with her left arm around his shoulder, about to pull him close, her right hand loose at her thigh whilst she decides what to do with it. Roger has his right arm around her waist but his left hand reaches across her stomach making the viewer wonder where it will go next – up to her breasts or down? He’s got a knowing grin on his face so I’ve got a good idea where it will be! And although I adore lots of bits of this painting, I love the tiny white dot of paint on his lower lip which shows that he’s grinning, it brings life to his face.
I’m delighted in this painting, and as you can see I put many hours of work into it for them. They love it too and I know they are going to hang it in pride of place in their home for all to see.