I finished a new painting! This one is an 11×14 acrylic on a Fredrix Green Label Belgian Linen Canvas titled “Woman With Cabinet”. This painting is twelve years in the making. It’s inspired by the lyrics to the Queen song “Killer Queen, written Freddie Mercury. The first line of that song is “she keeps Moet and Chandon in her pretty cabinet”, hence the cabinet next to the woman with the wine bottle inside of it. I purposely used several photos of different women so that the subject would not be recognizable as any one person. Nevertheless I would like to put a disclaimer that this is made for purely artistic purposes and does not represent my views on any person who might resemble the woman featured in this painting. The main photo used is from free stock photos originally from bodog.com and is issued under the Creative Commons 2.0 license. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
I chose the red background to represent prostitution and the purple sheet and the blue bed to represent royalty.
I painted streaks of transparent mixing white as well as a little bit of titanium white using a liner brush to create the look of satin or silk in the sheet. I wanted to give the impression that this woman is very wealthy and sleeps in only the most luxurious of bed sheets.
In the first verse of the song there is a line about caviar and cigarettes. So I put a little caviar tin and an antique cigarette case or at least what’s supposed to be an antique cigarette case on this woman”s night stand next to her bed.
I thought I was going to use pure beige to paint the cabinet but I ended up mixing a bit of red into the color and making it a bit pinkish
To create the transparent look of glass I painted a very thin layer of transparent mixing white over each of where the black lines of the cabinet were. I went over that with streaks titanium white.
I also used transparent mixing white in making the flesh. This is a first for me. I had always used titanium white in mixing flesh tone. I chose to use the transparent mixing white this time so that I could glaze to color over my underpainting in hopes of getting a softer more realistic feel. The other colors I used were my usual raw sienna and some quinacridone red. For the darkest shades I mixed a bit of purple into my original color. I later went over that with some of the other color very thinly in order to soften the shadow a bit. For the colors in between I put in varying degrees of raw sienna and quinacridone red into my original mixture.
I did part of this painting in my creative painting class at the San Diego Art Academy which brings me to my next point. I was on my way to my class one day when I realized I was due to paint this woman’s hair and I didn’t have a reference photo. I knew I would be in class and I wouldn’t have access to a printer or computer to look up or print out reference photos. I started to panic a little. Then I decided I was going to look at photos on my phone of long ash brown hair which is what I intended to paint this woman’s hair. I didn’t plan to copy any of the photos exactly or even close. But I studied them to learn what shades and colors should be in the hair and had that in my mind as I was working on the painting in my classroom. I came to the conclusion did the hair should include shades of burnt umber mixed with ivory black, grey made from mars black and transparent mixing white with a touch of a phthalo blue, to keep her from looking old, and some hansa yellow mixed with the aforementioned blue gray and burnt umber and ivory black. To create the look of shine in the hair I put in streaks transparent mixing white very heavy and some places and long small streaks using a liner brush of titanium white. Finally I put a very thin coat of transparent mixing white over all of the hair
For her eye I mixed transparent mixing white with blue for a luminous look. I painted streaks of grey made by mixing transparent mixing white and mars black using a liner brush. I rimmed the entire iris with mars black.
I painted the night stand using a combination of burnt sienna and a little bit of yellow ochre. I mixed ivory black into these colors to make the shadows.
A technique my teacher taught me that I used on the background and on the nightstand to get solid color is to apply the paint in short, quick strokes going every which way, then blend it out with a mop brush. The size of the mop brush you use will depend on the size of the area you’re working on.
Let’s not forget the bottle. To paint that I used dark green permanent with streaks of titanium white to create shine. I added mars black to the green for shadows. For the wrapping on the bottle, I mixed hansa yellow with a touch of raw sienna, then layerd transparent mixing white over the center for shine. I put a very line line of grey made by mixing transparent mixing white and mars black, with a liner brush, over the right hand edge.
I employed this same yellow and raw sienna with transparent mixing white on top technique to paint the metal clasp on the cigarette case. Then I put as thin of a line as I could of the same color that I used to paint the nightstand inside of that because I wanted to give the impression that the metal was reflecting the colors around it.
That’s all for now. I’m currently working on a painting of a swan. I’ll see you next week.
Painter of portraits and wildlife