Majestical – a Journey

Oh I really can’t tell you how amazing it feels to be painting something besides the ‘Enormity’…. something without quite so much weight to it.  Since Inktober I have found I am drawing most nights still .. not whole pieces each day but some time each night with my pencil and pens, just creating from a blank page and a mind trying to relax from an ever more stressful and long work day.

I printed off several copies of the pen and ink drawing and used my prismacolors to plot out various color combinations/themes.  This one seems and seemed to be my favorite after several days of mulling so I’m rolling with it.

Oil paint is going to crank up the vibrancy on those colors quite a bit in my experience and I really do want a rich and lush finish on this final piece… My goal is ‘almost a bit too much’ just because reserved seems to be my go to with the paint lately.  I want some colors that push back at you a little bit.

Plans in place, the handy dandy projector comes into play and I use my new acrylic paint pens (Artistro) to get the rough image on the canvas.  I ended up using my t-square to finalize both the framing and the rays on the canvas as the projector does introduce some distortion that I don’t generally mind, but I wanted these boundaries to be more precise.

Truly, at this point I sorta sat still and just stared at it, DAUNTING…. a deep breath and a few days later I find myself here.

Now, already there are some issues, the first layer of skin on my main figure has been done too darkly, which means I’ll need to layer light on top, which isn’t my favorite way to go … but I could use the practice.  The vibrancy of the blue on the bottom fights with the more muted colors of the rays above and I haven’t yet decided who will win… I feel like vibrancy has the edge today but that could change as I approach it again in a few days.  Everything is pretty wet still so working on it is getting tricky, I’m getting unintended blending.  So I will hold and walk past it sipping coffee and mulling until I can get my brushes safely back in there.  This is more fun than a corn dog … and I LOVE a corn dog.

OH AND WHILE I HAVE YOU HERE:  I like the idea of one post for each piece, to keep the progression together, but I don’t know what you guys experience when I update a post.  Is it obnoxious to have a note I’ve updated it?  Would a new post be better to follow along?  I’m trying to work out the kinks and get into some sort of Patreon rhythm but I certainly don’t want to be obnoxious!

–UPDATE: 11/23/2020

First of all, did some of those pictures turn sideways for y’all?!  They looked fine to me for several days and now a bunch are turned the wrong way!  Sigh. Oh I may have just fixed it!!! Let’s see if it sticks.

I’ve been having mountains of fun with this guy and really just diving into things I’ve never done before.  Because the lines here are so precise in places I’ve been using this tiny assed paint brush and really going into crevices and corners much more than historically.  Paint goes on so nicely in long sweeping movements but I’m really determined to learn how to blend well with smaller movements and tinier brushes.  It’s all an experiment at this point.  I’m still on the first layer of paint for the whole piece and anticipate most will be done with either two or three layers.  My hope this time through is just to get paint on every bit of canvas and get the general color layout sorted, from there lots of shading and detail work.  

Aaaand I’m on vacation this week!  WOOT!  Truly, the work schedule these last few weeks has been intense, even one 15 hour day last week.  This is a much deserved break and I intend to live it fully.  Painting and drawing and napping and sunshine.  

—UPDATE 12/18/2029

I’ve been working so darned much that my progress on most things has slowed drastically. In the last two weeks I did make some changes here, strengthening the shadows on the bottom half and filling in details on my main man.

My next move will be doing shading and highlighting work on the top and fleshing those clouds out a bit more. I was shocked at how painting the framing black changed the whole feel of the piece! It’s likely an obvious thing to people with more experience but I do still find myself astonished at how much basic color changes influence the way all the other colors are perceived. There is, I’m sure, some science behind it … and when I have more time I’d like to better understand it. For now I chalk it up to magic.

—UPDATE: 01/19/2021

Truly, the last bits here really were small.  I did strengthen the clouds but most of the work was in fine tip details just hardening some of the lines and getting that hair in place.  I remember when I sketched this thinking there was NO WAY I would be able to reproduce the fine lines of a pen with a fine brush.  It’s not as fine as with a pen but I am supremely pleased by how it all turned out.  

What a change of pace for me!  This one feels so much more vibrant than things I’ve done in the past.  I feel like I’m getting so much braver with color… less reserved.  Feels pretty great.

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