Thirsting for Hope, #wip, #worksinprogress

Came back from Texas last week and was excited (nothing really new)  to paint.  I worked with a favorite model, but not as we usually do.  I just watched her.

The painting that is developing from this brief visit, I am titling "Thirsting for Hope".  I meet new people all the time, and as you delve into their story there is always some burden, whether health, family, work that creates a hole for them.  These stories aren't always shared, but their shell displays more going on.

I have used the paper crane in a number of my paintings, only one is still in my possession and now this.  The Origami crane can be seen as a symbol of luck, but it has also become a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times.  (in Japanese, called "senbazuru")

Here are my steps, so far in the creation of "Thirsting for Hope".  At this time, Wednesday morning, 2/28/18, it is not complete. But my belief is that all art that is created in a short time period, becomes a stronger piece.  If a piece is going to take 20 hours, it will be stronger if those 20 hours are put into 3 consecutive days.  The same 20 hours over a month will lose the richness and excitement in the result, because the initial push and enthusiasm will wain.

Steps:  Wanting to get started, I realized I didn't have any paper stretched in the studio, any full size sheets.  With the exception of one that was a medium value teal/blue.  So I said, what the heck, use it, can't wait for paper to dry.

I drew out my model and then cleaned up any extra lines, so I just had basic lines to view and work with.  Remember that I always work with gesso and pigment because gesso provides me with a tooth to work anything over top.  So I knew I added gesso to create the base color on my paper.  I did this base paper at the same time I painted the base for "Submerge"  

With blocking in my model, she is holding a rather large cup for her tea. I stroked in some diluted gesso for placement of some of her hair.  I am just starting to see where I am going to go.  


I add more gesso to lighten the face a bit, but the base color is going to create an underlying harmony to the finished piece.  I always wish that when I demonstrate something like this, that I could do the same strokes, etc on white paper, so that you can see the difference a color stock gives to a piece. I can never fill in all the pours in the paper to eliminate that undercoat.  I am now working with watercolor, acrylic and pencil.  Since the color is so strong I laid paper towels down so as not to track color. 

I am developing her face and the cup.  The size of the cup, can be symbolic of the size of struggles.  The paper is deeper hued than it is photographing 

My lighting is becoming a problem.  She is a very pale skinned model, and I definitely want to keep linear elements.  I don't want this to be portraiture, but a story, a moment captured.  I have added the origami crane to her dark tea,  the abyss she cradles with both hands.
Her face does not have the depth that I want yet, and I have gone to the negative space with stokes of the base color.  I didn't want to leave the negative space flat, but decided to break it up with hues tied to the original paper color.  And I want to keep the hair with some broad stokes, contrasting to her face.  

I am warming up her face, as you view the left side, I want to keep getting that darker, but not too dark.   So this is where I am today.  I hope to have it complete by Friday.  Enjoy

Back, 3/1/18

On this photo for the steps, the coloration is more accurate.  I have deepened the left side of face, created a linear for the hand and accessing adding more work were needed.  I do not want to render the hands completely, but to allow the composition to lead to her face.

For now I have signed this piece, but I am still wanting to live with it for a few days before placing it on line for sale.  I added more acrylic paint and pencil.

I have also attached two details.

and two new paintings I am working on.

Enjoy,  bottom piece is acrylic,  piece with figure and lower left hand corner red is oil/mixed media.


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