Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lifeboat, completed painting - by Jeff

It's finished! Well, the painting stage is finished. I still have to let it dry, then glue the tiles onto a wooden box. Most of my paintings in the last few years have been coated with encaustic medium as the finishing stage, but this one is going to be coated with Galkyd as a varnish.

As you can see, I opted to use a little creative license with the text on the life boat. The reference photo depicted the name of the ship, but I used my monkey icon and the word "umizaru" in Japanese. It means "sea monkey." It's kind of unusual to see umizaru spelled out in the phonetic hiragana alphabet; you would normally see it as two kanji characters. I like the aesthetics of hiragana. It feels a little more unexpected in context.

The name of the painting is actually "Umizaru 2".

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lifeboat, stage 4 - work in progress by Jeff

Getting into the colorful details now, as well as continuing to layer in more subtle, white tones. Forget what I said before about being almost done. Maybe. Honestly, I never know how long these things are going to take. I'll be painting along, feeling like I'm nowhere near the end, and then I say "Hey! I guess it's finished!" A few more days at least, though.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Lifeboat, stage 3 - work in progress by Jeff

Getting close to the end! Well, kind of. You can see that I use a pretty haphazard approach to how I treat each tile as I paint. It takes me a while to get into the rhythm of the painting, and decide where to concentrate my initial efforts. It became clear pretty early on that I needed to focus on the whites, and all the subtle tones that are represented by that.

I also put a lot into the water, which was very satisfying. That crazy, deep blue may seem unrealistic to you, unless you've seen it in real life! When I was a kid I always wondered why water was represented by blue in illustrations. Now I know! If you haven't been out to the deep blue sea in a boat and seen that water for yourself, you really ought to go find yourself a boat.