Thursday, 12 July 2018

Painting Peter Stormare in oils, my first real portrait.

Peter Stormare??? 
Who is he? You are probably thinking.

I first saw him as John in Prison Break, then I discovered he was the poor lost soul who dies in Jurassic Park 2 with all the little dinosaurs attacking him in the river.  The bad guy in John Wick, he pops up absolutely everywhere and I just fell in love with his acting style.  His latest part is in American Gods as Czernobog.  I saw a picture of him holding a hammer covered in blood and I just knew I had to paint him.  The urge just wouldn't leave me.

I knew it had to be different from my others so I decided oils, yep, oils, and yep let's go big because well, that's what I do lol.  I painted him on plywood, 7mm thickness.  I use the grid method to get the picture onto the wood.  I always use my Surface Pro for this part, gosh I love that little computer.  I'm an Apple person but the Surface Pro could change me.  I use the grid that Art Tutor offer on their website, it is a brilliant tool.  Art tutor Grid drawing tool

This is Peter, in black and white because I just like to start out that way.
 I gridded up my plywood using my huge T square.  Never ever thought I would find a use for that big sucker, but I have lol.
Here is the finished product, yep, not little lol.

Then the tedious work of just copying whatever is in each square begins.  I actually don't mind this part, it stops most of the incessant noise in my head while I concentrate.

Once I am "happy" I do my umber line drawing and then the Umber wash.  Yes he looks ghastly.  Wait till the next bit, he looks worse.  This part only takes a few minutes.  Takes a while to dry so I usually do this at night and when I wake up he's all dry and staring at me, angrily.

Then I begin my loose interpretation of a black and white study.  I think I do this just get the courage up to start colour.

 I hang up my reference pictures on my board, I just go to Officeworks and get large photo prints for 80c.  It seriously helped me a lot more than just holding the Surface Pro.

And the oils begin, I had a very limited range of colours to begin with but honestly it was all I needed.  I believe my skin tone base colour for Peter was Red Oxide and Yellow Ochre.  Then adding different tones to get the different shades of skin.  I used Galkyd as the medium for this one, I like Galkyd, I need a bigger bottle.  It's just trial and error here, stepping back a lot, walking away a lot, staring at the painting a lot.

I actually fell in love with painting all over again, it was the blending and the little marks on what was perfectly smooth skin, the wrinkles.  How you don't actually paint the wrinkles, you paint around them and the wrinkles will come.  It took me a while to understand that.  The beard, Oh man it took me forever, so many layers, waiting to dry, but I am so glad I didn't stop.

All that was left to do was pick out the background colour, that is always my hardest thing.  Backgrounds are just difficult but very important.  Overall I was super happy with this one, I wanted to do more and more oils paintings.

Painting is my therapy, it's my saviour.  Two years ago I couldn't paint anything, not a thing.  So just in case you are wondering, it is a learnt behaviour.  Some people have the awesome talent naturally and I am jealous of them, but the rest of us learn it.  I just had to wait until I was ready.  Until I had to choose between living for skinny and starving, or living for a reason.

I may obsess just a little about painting now, I think I may be slightly obsessive in nature lol.  Only slightly 😄.  I was beginning to miss my eating disorder before I started this painting.  I was getting depressed and the craziness in my head was beginning to win again.  
Then I saw American Gods and I just had to do it.  It became my source of crazy.  I would dream about painting him, stay up late and wake up early thinking about the mistakes I needed to fix.  It is an obsession for me, and if I don't have a current project I am working on to distract my crazy I start to drown again.

Anyway, on my next blog post I will be showing you my glowing dragon egg!!!!  It is a mixture of acrylic painting, glow powder and resin.  I also have made a polymer clay dragon tail to possibly place on it, I haven't quite finished it yet so I am unsure if I add it lol.  It will be a surprise.  Anyway here is a teaser of the unfinished egg.........

Until next time, I hope you all have an arty week with little to no crazies.