Thursday, June 7, 2012

Progress Report: "Kitty Up"

This is the last progress report until the fall class semester starts up (in a few months).

BUT, that doesn't mean I'm going to rest on my paint spattered laurels.  I want to start (and hopefully complete) a "summer painting".  I probably won't dig into it until July since I have a July 4 project I want to get done by. . .of course.. .July 4.  I have a idea for the new painting (which won't be as large as the current one) so I have good hopes I can work on it one or two sessions a week and get it done over the summer break.

Hold up, this is a progress report on "Kitty Up" not a wish list of projects I want to produce so. . .

Here is where the painting was when I started last night:

And here's where it is NOW:

First thing I notice is how much lighter the newer pic is.  That is mostly the lighting from the room, not that I totally lightened the actual painting (I'm looking at Mr. Roboto's face and I didn't work on the light gray at all last night so it being lighter now is just photo trickery, if you will).

I worked mostly on the darker gray areas trying to get the mottled effect of the felt.  I think it's heading in the right direction.  The big problem is in making the hands look like something other than big ass blobs (the closer hand has real issues in that respect).  There's also the issue of the warped perspective, too.  Due to the angle, the closer of the hands is far larger than the futher away one.  Like "carnival mirror" distorted big.  It's also right in front of the dark gray chest panel so they do kind of blend together EXCEPT the hand (due to it being closer to the camera and the light really bouncing off it) shows the mottled color so much more than the other dark gray parts (all the dark gray parts are the same felt, which is very uniform in color, so the extreme mottling on the closer hand is just due to the photo).  So I'm trying to capture that effect to make that closer hand stand out more.  In person (and up close on the painting) the mottling looks like a hot mess.  But if you stand resonably away from the painting (as you would) it looks decent.  I definitely need to work on it more.

I also lightened the orange block.  It looks really light now but that could just be the photo.  It definitely needed to be brightened a bit.  I also darkened the darker parts on Timothy (but it doesn't translate well in this photo).

The shading on the shoulder corners is coming along nicely, too.  Really adding depth.  Adding the stitching really made the whole thing start to come together well, too.  It's crazy how that happens.  Something as minor as that can really make you feel like the painting is heading in the right direction.  Same with putting a face on Timothy.  Clearly that's going to change a lot before the painting is done but just seeing it on him really rounds things out.  It cracked me up, too.  At one point I had the eyes roughed in and had put some measurement dots on for the nose (just two for the side corners) and Timothy looked like an alien pig cat hybrid.  It even made my wife laugh.

I did a bit of work on the background, too.  That light swipe across the bottom is really working.   It's not there yet but it definitely is heading there.  Funny thing is, the background is what most folks comment on.  Like it really grabs their attention.  I don't know if that means the rest of the composition is just boring or if the background really is that interesting (or it's just folks being polite, like how you find something nice to say when you meet an ugly baby--"Oh, look at the little fingers!").

For the record, here is the reference photo I'm working from:

I'm definitely looking forward to putting the corduroy effect on (the class instructor is kind of giddy over that process, too--patience).

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