Series Part Two and More Process Details

In my last post, I wrote mostly about the conception and ideas behind this series of paintings. For this post, I thought I would write a bit about the creation process in addition to my writing about the individual piece.

After picking the subject matter (ex: hands, face), I came up with a very basic idea of what colors I’d use. I knew that I didn’t want super lifelike colors, so for the first painting I decided a pinkish-orangish background would look nice with greenish toned skin. Because I picked those colors for the first one, I decided that I wanted this second painting to have a greenish blue background. I also planned to paint the faces using colors like orange and pink. The pink that I used kind of went with the pink in my first painting of the series, so in an effort to create more continuity through the series, I also added in a slight amount of the green tone that I really enjoyed from the first painting.

For my first painting, in order to think about my composition, I posed my hands in front of my blank painted background where I thought they should go. I then edited those hands in Photoshop to be black and white. In order to make good-looking bitmaps, I had to crank up the contrast and make the image size and resolution tiny. However, I used the original photos for reference while painting in order to see nuanced color changes on my skin in the lighting. Despite my color palettes being fairly un-lifelike, I generally pulled my color choice from the photo. Obviously, if my skin looked a bit pink, green, blue, or orange in the light I pushed it. I think its funny that I’m so winter pale that my skin can look green or purple under fluorescent lights.

(here you can kind of see my photography and editing process… as well as my pale, pale skin)

 

For this painting, I decided to take pictures of my face with stark light in the lighting lab to add contrast. This caused trouble for me at first, since it lead to huge flat areas of dark on the bitmap. I wanted to leave some showing, but some of the huge ones I wanted to paint over. It was harder to find and pick out color for these huge areas while still retaining the darks. This had me worrying about my color palette at first, but I think it has turned out to be one of my favorite color palettes I’ve done because it’s so oddball.

Another thing to note is that I fragmented and layered the bits of the face in this painting as opposed to the style first piece. I think it added interest and worked out, but I wanted to pull the pieces together somehow, so I added more paint smears that left the fragments and sometimes travelled between. I still am not one hundred sure what the subject matter of the last painting in this series will be, but I think I want to retain the fragmented quality and the smears going all over.

…To Be Continued

 

Series Part One and the Fighting Polygon Team

This is the first painting in what will be a series of three.

The short, less involved description of my plan for the series is to photograph parts of the human figure, edit them into obvious-but-realistic black and white bitmaps, then paint the flesh in color on top of the bitmaps like a frame. This one focuses on hands, while the next one will probably focus on face parts. I have not decided what to do with the third yet.

There are a few artists that I was looking at for this project, but the main one that has inspired me to incorporate painting on top of collage is AM Debrincat, who combines photography (digital and analog) and printmaking with her paintings to try and represent and explore “portraiture and the hybrid nature of identity in the digital age.”

While Debrincat usually paints a face on top of a photograph, I became interested in the painting being more fragmented, like pieces of flesh ethereally forming on top the bitmap, like what’s underneath isn’t necessarily real, and what’s on top isn’t all the way formed and solid.

I had the usual amount of struggle with this painting, but not in the usual way. It was a challenge for me not to overwork the actual painting part, since I wanted there to be a delicate balance between painting and bitmap. I am not used to having to focus on leaving parts of a painting untouched; I can usually just go wild all over the place. I also think that a part of me felt like I had to do a whole lot of painting since there was so much preparation involved to actually get to the painting part.

Overall, this first painting in the series didn’t necessarily turn out as I intended, but artwork never really does. I wanted to try splitting different areas into color themes, but it didn’t feel right (I think because of the subject matter and scale). I did try to retain the idea of using various off-the-wall colors, which I think worked out. I might try again with the next one.

…To Be Continued

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