Brickwork No.1

So I’ve been monitoring my (non existant) cashflow and I’ve come to the realisation it’s back to supplementing my “starving artist” lifestyle with some more painting to sell (www.bluethumb.com.au). And it looks like there’s a few more “doors” left in me. Eventually I’ll paint, like, 78 of them and realise I could have done another Tarot Deck (sigh) – but I don;t have a full deck in me, ready to come out … and these things cannot, or should not, be forced.

Doors, however, I can paint and doodle for peanuts.

This series of four (always a nice round number), will be based on brickwork. The doors themselves will be recovered wood, made into doors. This gives me a lot of creative freedom to “age” my paintings with dirty textures and surfaces.

 

Starting with the base colour – all of them got two layers of Warm Red (working in Acrylics). I find two layers gives a good solid barrier between the canvas and the washes of paint I apply on top. I’ve noticed on my thinner pieces that if I’m not careful with my brush pressure, the paints rub right off the canvas with thinner layers. Two layers of “primer” or “base” layer protects me from that lack of grip.

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After the Burnt Umber sketch, I start working on the contrasting light undertones. Note that I’m still thinking of all the colours which will be under the final ones I paint on top. I’m not sure if this a particularly great technique, but the end result is much richer when I have layers of paint and translucent washes.

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Here’s a Day Time shot of laying on other mid level tones over the darker ones. The photos here vary between light and dark because I work throughout the night under warm (yellow) light. I also work on 4 paintings at the same time, till i get to a stage where one needs to be detailed. It’s a workflow process I’ve adopted to save paint (and leftover paint gets applied as a under layer on another painting, regardless of whether it’s suitable for that painting).

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Going back to lighter tones, I start detailing the brickwork in the architrave.

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A few more perspective adjustments (painting without sketching can be tricky, but since the canvases are so small, the adjustments are easy to make) and I start laying the base colours of the door.

 

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And here’s the final with highlights and shadows worked back in. I’ve opted to give the door a bright/sharp light source and an overcast shadow from above to give a bit of depth. It makes it a little peculiar but I think with a final shadow wash, I can anchor it all back in. The perspective isn’t perfect, but I suppose that’s what make paintings not photos.

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Hmm, to-door-knob or not-to-door-knob?

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