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


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