winterkins

Finally some oil paintings! Being separated from my oils is rough, I tells you. 

These two are painted on 4inX4in wood panels, which were coated in gloss medium so the grain of the wood is still visible. 

These are my Winterkins, created initially back when the weather was colder, and they're sort of like the embodiments of winter. I was inspired by the recent fashion trend that involves a lot of cultish, quasi-spiritual and occult elements, and the results have been sleeker, starker fashion choices for my figures. As well as a lot of triangles. It's a combination of ancient and medieval symbolism and designs, 1970s-style fantasy illustration, and the more naturalistic elements from my older work. The result is a lot of natural, complex details combined with larger areas of flat, geometric space, and is something I find really aesthetically pleasing. 

They're also portraits. The figures are the same as those in The Universe, and are basically me, in black, and Beastie, in white, along with the things I've come to associate with each of us: trees and crows for me, bones and rabbits for him. 

As for the process, painting on wood is fun. It's nice and smooth. The only downside is that because it's so smooth, it's easy to wipe the paint back off during the painting process if it gets built up too thickly. So these were made using a lot of thin layers and glazes. The other things about very smooth surfaces is that dust and debris show up really easily, so you have to be diligent about keeping them clean. 

I'd like to do another pair for summer (the Summerkins), but I still have to work out their details. They will remain with the same color schemes, though some of the elements may change. 

triangles, occultism and water media


I've been listening to a lot of witch house, can you tell?

Here's some of the watercolor stuff I've been doing. I've lately been very into triangles, as I may have mentioned before. They started showing up on the throats of my figures, and I like how it looks, so we'll be seeing more of it. I've also been into occult symbols and the like. I've worked with them minorly before, but I really like what they add to an image--something like esoteric writing--and so I'll be using more of those, too. 

From the top:

Priestess is the earliest piece here. She's pretty simple, done in watercolor, India ink and gouache. Her design was based on a combination of occultism and '70s-ish graphic/fantasy illustration, which used a lot of solid areas of color for a look that's simple and linear so it's at once streamlined and modern while still evoking traditional fantasy. So that's what she is

The Universe is a double portrait, and done in a more detailed, traditional style. This was made using the usual mix of water media as well as some acrylic paints, which were watered down to the point of behaving like watercolors. I also used some interference paints, which add some nice iridescent detailsI had a lot of fun making this one. The sky was made my wetting the paper and basically letting the paint go wherever (not too much, though. I'm too much of a control freak for total abandon) and then forming cloud/nebula shapes by shading and highlighting the resulting forms. The costuming was probably the most fun. I used to draw costumes all the time--when I was a kid I would have reams of paper with these bizarre fashion innovations on them--and then somewhere in college I started painting nudes because SERIOUS ART or something. But there's so much you can do with clothing. From a conceptual standpoint, it adds to the characterization of figures. From a technical standpoint, it's a great way to practice a lot of textures. Here, I got to play with sheer fabric and fur, as well as metallic surfaces for the accents. Oh, and that's a dodecahedron on his brooch thing there. Hooray for Platonic solids!

Finally we have, um, this guy. Drawing a scantily clad man with a come-hither expression and a big fucking gun just sort of made sense one day, so here he is. This has more acrylic in it than The Universe, specifically the fluorescent colors that like to cause retinal damage but are fun anyway. I don't know where this came from, to be honest. I just wanted to do something uncomfortable on several levels. A friend came over and said that this picture "creeped him out." I said that if it creeped him out, then I did my job right. 


water media madness

 I was terribly, and pleasantly, surprised to find that THIS is what it looks like when you use water media on fabric. I had tried it before with some small pieces, but it works really well on a larger scale, too, and can be built up to a decent opacity. 

I was originally going to hang these on our closet doors at home, kind of a his'n'hers sort of thing, but the doors seem to be made of diamond and cannot be pierced by the pointy things of man. So they live on my desk. 

Up top is some beast boy creepiness, complete with blood and pointy claw fingers. And a hair bow. I used Mod Podge to seal the fabric on this one, and I'm not sure if it was that or if it was just not stretched properly, and so the fabric buckled slightly. It didn't effect the outcome, really, but was not as pleasant to paint on. This is primarily gouache, tinted with watercolor.

Below is some fashionable witchiness. This one was created using gouache and watercolor as well as India ink, acrylic paint and gel pen. REMEMBER GEL PENS??? I bought some bright pink gel pens a while ago on a whim because they transported me back to seventh grade, where the cool thing to do was to scrawl all over yourself and your friends with smeary opaque ink. They made the finer pink branches near the bottom, and were fun to use. 

So, they're not oils. Nothing is oils. But they were fun to make, and I got to play with lots of interesting ways to combine colors and materials. The only thing about this, which I discovered the last time I tried this, was that because of the primed surface, the paints will wipe right off if they get wet, so I might want to spray seal these sometime. Although, during the painting process, this feature actually came in handy as it served as an "eraser" of sorts. 

I really like bright pink and I need to use more of it. I've also found I really like designing costumes and painting fantastical clothing, and will be continuing this trend.