For this segment, our prompt was “shadows and light.” I had a few ideas I wanted to use for this painting, which is seen by how many thumbnails I made in the brainstorming stage below. For shadows and light, I incorporated them into the painted aspects (the portrait and hands), however, I also wanted other aspects of the painting to play into it as well. For example, this could be seen in the shadows and highlights seen in the dried paint blobs, and the way the yellow circle in the background could translate as a source of light. I eventually landed on this concept. I intentionally left the message of the piece vague so that viewers would see it and come to their own conclusions based on what it means to them.
“Do not let it consume you,” “watch them become you,” and “define your self” are all ideas taken from a research lab I am participating in, surrounding the topic of the self and our presentations of self. “It” in the first message to me indicates the weight of living, the difficulty in finding your true self, and the expectations of those around you. “Watch them become you” in terms of the lab should be “watch them, become you.” This relates to how as children, we observe the behaviors, morals, and beliefs of those around us and adopt them as our own. However, as I have left the comma out, to the viewer it could be read as watching others become you through your influence on them. “Define your self” is relating to how important it is for an individual to develop a sense of who they are in order to be able to function properly in the world. As one saying goes, if you do not stand for something, you will fall for anything.
The first page of thumbnails.
The second page of thumbnails.
Practice paintings. The one on top was the initial concept I wanted to go with, but after a bit of feedback, I decided to practice being looser with my paintings.
The second set of practice paintings, which were done to practice being looser in the actual process.
The thumbnail I ended up creating after these practice paintings, which is the concept I ended up going with.
Practice painting of the thumbnail seen above.
Base layer of paint. Was done by scraping paint onto the canvas with a palette knife.
Text painted onto the canvas, which is just “do not let it consume you” repeated in all caps. This was obscured by the foreground intentionally so that the viewer could not clearly see what it says.
Beginning stages of portrait.
Later stages of portrait.
Portrait with hair, including digital mapping out of where the hands were going to be placed.
Final stages of painting.
Text on the borders of the painting, which reads “watch them become you” in all caps. This is the same for all four borders.
If I could do this painting again, I would definitely push the shadows more in the portrait and in the hands, so that the prompt comes through even more. Additionally, the proportions in the face are slightly off, but enough that it bothered me while finishing the painting, so I would go back and fix it accordingly. Additionally, the hands are not as defined as I would’ve liked them to be, so I would fix that as well. Overall, I thought this painting was entertaining to do. I tend to stick with more controlled styles of painting, so using things such as dried paint blobs, charcoal, and text to create more interest in the painting was challenging and exciting. I definitely want to continue being looser with my paintings in the future.