Monday, January 19, 2009

Some much needed painting progress

1. Started this in the art journal. Then took it directly to canvas. Blocked in all of the colors and features, had some sort of idea for direction. I knew I wanted a tattooed girl with a doll face, a little bit Dollfie, a little bit retro Barbie. The background of the painting was inspired by old Sailor Jerry tattoo flash backgrounds.

2. I refined the image a bit more. Added a lot more detail to the facial features of the girl, white washed the background, and darkened the tattoo.

3. This is where we are now. I continued to paint layers of color and detail into her face and hair. I fixed a couple of things with the bandanna that were bothering me, and I distressed the rose tattoo to make it look a bit more faded and more like it was on her skin as opposed to just sitting on top over her. Originally I wanted to banner to read "Doll Face" but now I'm not so sure.
So far I really like the direction the painting is going; the colors, the level of detail, the style... her slightly skeptical expression. I have to do something about that tendril of hair by her ear, though. The more I look at it, the more it bothers me. And maybe I'll add some polka-dots to the bandanna.
What I really like most about this is the process. I don't just wake up and know what to paint, or how to paint it.
I stumble a lot through paintings, trying to make them look like something. Also, I don't, won't, and can't know how to paint every detail exactly all the time, mostly I just paint and repaint and paint again until I get it to look somewhere near what I wanted. I don't know how many other people are like that, but for me a lot of painting is about problem solving. I jump into painting all the time, with no idea how to paint... say.. a bumble bee tattoo. I finally decided I didn't want an incredibly realistic bee there, so I painted two cute little ones. Or, I'm not really sure how far to push something.. like her eyes. I wanted them to be realistic... but not too realistic.. which is basically how vague the idea was in my head. I started with a very flat, cartoonish eye and started adding details to it as if I were painting a real eye... at one point it was very creepy-alien, so I had to pull back a bit and paint out some of the more hyper-realistic eye details.

Then I played with my journal page some more in photoshop; more brushes, more textures, more layers. Plus an art nouveau frame from Dover, which is a great resource for royalty/copyright free imagery and clip art.

I own quite a few Dover books too, they are some of my favorite reference sources. (Or coloring books, I have a weakness for those too.)


Anonova said...

I find the "doll face" look really interesting... and the tattoo is a fantastic touch! Sailor Jerry rocks.

Bone*Head*Studios said...

I just found your lovely site, I love this painting and all your art!!
blessings,Flora said...

I looove your girls!!

ps: Came to tell you I am making sticky lemon chicken as I type!! ;) ;)