(Art is a labor of love)
I was up till midnight last night finishing my art piece. It has been in the works for about 3 months, but now it is finished! I must say that this was the most time intensive piece I have ever done … this is not obvious (in my opinion) when compared with past works. My previous pieces were very often based on other artists work but this piece was done completely on my own - from beginning with the idea in my mind to the last few strokes with my charcoal pencil.
I will humor anyone who has read this far by telling you about that journey from the idea to how I got it on paper.
It started in the front yard with myself, my camera, and my tripod. I would set the automatic timer and then run around in front of the camera and pose for each figure in the picture … any cars driving by must have wondered what was going on.
Then using my favorite program (photoshop) I merged all those pictures of me together. It was kinda scary seeing all those duplicates of myself (artists go to great lengths to create art)
I then created a rough sketch from the photomerge … I was beginning to conceptualize the idea on paper.
Once I had the basic idea I created a small values image. This showed the tones – the lights and the darks, and overall what the picture would look like.
I then transferred the photomerge to a large draft paper using the grid method (breaking the image into squares and drawing the same number of squares [on a larger scale] on the large paper and then copying the image square by square). This is a legal form of cheating in my humble opinion however since this was not a project for self enjoyment but rather an important project with a deadline I made the exeption which helped me on my proportions. Proportions are hard to capture especially after not having done art regularly for over year.
Once the image was transfered I went through several versions and a few sizes. Here are my two first drafts
I then started on what I thought would be my final but when I was nearing completion I was not satisfied with the gray areas of the art … they looked muddled and not clean. I also had some new ideas for the angels which sprung from sculptures I had seen by the artist Bernini.
So I sacrificed my image for the greater good of a new piece which if it turned out like I imagined would be much better than the one I was working on. I decided to try it out on gray paper. This way I would not have to draw the gray tones as much, and I would use white pencil for the highlights and rays of light. BTW the dark tones were done with charcoal pencil. I used ‘transfer paper’ to transfer the old picture to the gray paper. Once I made the leap of faith everything began to take shape like I wanted it to. I spent several very productive late nights to complete the picture. And now it is done! Yeah! And my room is back to normal (instead of the typical artists studio look).
I brought the picture to the monastery today and left it with the monks. Sometime this week it will travel with Br. Jerome up to Tulsa to wait for the auction on October 21. I hope it does well!