I started this piece because, hey, I hadn’t painted anything in a while. I’d been doing good work in my sketchbook for most of the last month, but I’d been fearful of doing anything more than that.
Why? Who knows? I certainly don’t.
I battle with huge, ugly, blue demons on a daily basis right now, and since I’m clobbering them good today with cunning and big iron hammers, I thought I’d take the opportunity to publish a little something.
I had saved a very early stage of this painting to help show the process of how I get started, but unfortunately I saved over it with stage 2 by accident. Oops.
It was pretty much just the outline of her hair, guitar, and the first green patches that would become her face.
As you can see with stage 2, it’s still sketchy, blocky, and messy – but I have the colours laid out, the basic proportions locked in, and most of TracyAnne’s face finished. Initially I had everything painted in that same dark blue, but I saw the opportunity to give the piece some extra depth, and create a more delightful contrast with the light around her head by making her hair the darkest segment of the work.
And here’s the finished piece – signature and all. I think it took me about 6 hours from beginning to end (with a break or two in between).
I was having something of a bad day when I started. I could explain what a bad day is like, but it’s pretty much exactly the same as a good day, except that my skull feels like it’s been smoked over a fire, then filled up with cold rainwater and sad music. It sloshes around, spills over the brim, and I can’t see through the blur to the sparkle behind the trees anymore.
Nothing really causes it, and nothing really fixes it. It just is, and I have to do what I can to wait it out.
Rather than riding the descent any further, I decided I’d focus on something positive. Painting will often give me the zen-like space I need to let the storms blow away, and so even though I very much didn’t want to, I made that my day’s mission. I felt rusty and out of practice, and it seemed like a mountain of effort to climb in front of me, but I ignored that sensation. I knew it would pass once I got into the work, and it did.
I didn’t want to give myself any time to back out, so I simply grabbed the first song that came to mind and painted a still from the video. In this case, Camera Obscura’s “Honey in the Sun”. They’re one of my favourite bands, and for whatever reason I’m kind of stuck in the very pleasurable rut of listening to them a lot these days.
In any case, there it is. If you enjoy what I do, feel free to follow my on my various social media and send me a word or two. I’m also for hire if you know anyone who needs a commercial illustrator, writer, or fool.
Until next time.