This is the process for my last piece, which originally started as an idea of having a body submerged in rising water/liquid. The figure was holding an object, saving it from the water, the object was to be one of little relevance and I hadn't decided what is was (yeah solid concept, art directors must be falling over themselves to get to work with me right?). I think it's good to create out of emotion and myriad ideas and build narrative around a concept rather than concept around narrative - it can open up new ideas and process. I probably wouldn't have experimented with mixing media if this was a commissioned piece.
After sketching out a few times, I decided that I wanted half of the face underwater, the problem with this being that the objects in the landscape detracted from the image of the face, so it ended up being reduced to a portrait. I also then realised that it looked a little like Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now, so I decided to go for drowning, rather than squatting in a lake. I also tilted the head back gasping for air. And yes I was the reference for this and there exists such a photo, which I shall destroy. The water is going inside the mouth like when you go swimming and you accidentally inhale pissy chlorine water. Maybe that's my concept here.
The face is rendered in black with gouache and acrylic - Gouache is good for the softer tones, but when I wanted to lay down a solid and not have it awoken by later brushstrokes, I used acrylic. The water is phthalo blue oil and recycled turps. Final step is colouring in photoshop using soft, low flow brushes on multiply layers. I tilted the head to the side and placed it on a longer portrait canvas (the concept was originally landscape) and placed the head at the top to give it a claustrophobic feeling and give the water more depth.
Coincidentally you can buy this print and others here! (the grid on the site is under maintenance, don't be alarmed, it's legit I promise)
Posted by Stuart Ruel at 20:48