Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Oculus Rosa"

Wow! It's been a ridiculously long while since I posted anything. In fact the last time I did a blog post was when I moved from Massachusetts to KY back in 2013. I've spent the last two years doing freelance illustration, a little video game concept work and painting commissions. I've been reacquainting myself with surroundings and my family and friends. 

A couple of months ago I was somewhat depressed about the way my career has been going. I've moved back to KY, now, for the third time in my life. I always find it difficult to make my career work here. Usually I end up finding a job and having to move to where that job is.  I was contemplating my options when I saw a Facebook post from a tattoo shop here in the town I live in. The owner posted that they were looking to add an artist to their shop and were willing to train. I responded with an introduction and link to my website. After a conversation or two we had a face to face and I'm now apprenticing to be a tattooist at Ink Well Tattoo in La Grange, KY under Scot Winskye. I've begun a new 10,000 hour journey. It's exciting, I'm having a great time and I have a lot to learn.
Photo by Anmarie, victim #1
Ink Well Tattoo, La Grange, KY
I decided to paint a small painting to bring in some Christmas cash and regarding subject matter I decided to stay within the tattoo mindset I'd been in. A simple skull and roses painting. As with some previous paintings I also used the limited "Zorn Palette" of lamp black, cadmium red, yellow ochre and white.

1.) First was the drawing in simple line form to be transferred to a piece of gessoed illustration board, 8 x 8.5. I added a small amount of texture to the board with acrylic gel medium.

2.) The drawing along with a thin wash to get rid of the white of the illustration board.

3.) For establishing the darks I broke from the limited palette and used burnt umber. It's what I'm accustomed to using and stuck with it.

4.) I blocked in a thin coat of the local colors.
5.) I painted the background, which was mostly black with a little color as it got closer to the roses. I then painted the four roses that were actually behind the skull.
6.) Next I painted the leaves and foreground.
7.) First I decided that the foreground seemed a little too cool and a little too clean so I hit it with some warm washes and a little spatter to dirty it up. Next I painted the skull itself. I made use of the texture that I put down on the board and kept my brushwork a little scrubby. The highlights were put on after the darks and mid tones dried.
8.) Finally there was only the last two roses that were in front of the skull. As it turns out I enjoy painting the roses red.

9.) The final high resolution scan. "Oculus Rosa" 2015, oil on illustration board, 8 x 8.5. The painting quickly found a home. Thank you Sarah.