Another "Flora & Fauna"

stlukesguild

Well-known member
Messages
1,054
This painting is one of which I documented the most completely from start to finish. I began with the idea of two figures standing back to back... opposites... but without any clear theme at first. I began drawing directly on the working surface.

1.600.jpg


I have had several others suggest... and I quite agree... that there is something to these early stages with the underdrawings showing through. I have thought of stopping some works at this stage... thinking of Jenny Saville's big gestural drawings:

artist_jenny_saville_study_for_intertwine_zoom.jpg


d5362561a.650.jpg


Once the figures were largely locked in I began working on the bigger shapes in the surrounding space and began priming the background with the usual reddish-brown/Burnt Sienna/Tuscan Red:

2.jpg


As I begin drawing the pattern I often need to draw right through the figures. This is the major reason I save drawing the figures for last.

3.jpg


As I began adding color I initially thought of continuing to work with those extreme neon/florescent colors similar to the last painting... but this time in Lime Green:

5.jpg


6.jpg


Green has never been a color that I have used as the dominant color in my paintings... thus I saw this as a challenge.

7.jpg


Again, you can see how the guidelines for the patterns go through the contours of the figures. You can also see how I am using the red variegated gold leaf... red contrasting the green:

8.jpg


I chose to match the dark-green and white checkerboard above with that below... as a visual rhyme.

9.jpg


continued...
 

stlukesguild

Well-known member
Messages
1,054
Here is a studio view of the work in progress flanked by the previous two paintings:

10.jpg


By now I thought of the Flora theme again... after all... there's all that green! I added flowers into the halo of the girl on the left.

11.jpg


And now begins the gold in the halos:

12.jpg


13.jpg


14.jpg


15.jpg


I usually block the hair in with black or a near-black at this time so that I can clearly see the shape of the hair against the reddish primer.

16x.jpg


And then suddenly... I temporarily lost my mind. I thought let's make the top red and the bottom green... and then I even started adding red below...

17.jpg


Soon it was red everywhere... except for the checkerboards... and it looked like crap... that ugly stage every painting goes through...

18.jpg


I spent the next weekend returning the painting to the initial green... or rather a less brilliant green harmony...

19.jpg


continued...
 

stlukesguild

Well-known member
Messages
1,054
I actually quite liked the look of the brilliant red paint showing through the various green pastels layered on top:

20.jpg


At this point I began working on the figures. I notice that there is an unfinished section of gold leaf still. I suspect this was one of the instances in which my art supply store had run out of gold leaf.

21.jpg


I always begin priming the flesh areas with a color similar to that of the paper... a color called "Soft Suede". I use saturated colors for the bottom layers of the eyes and lips... and bounce some green and orangish-reds into the bottom layers of the flesh.

22.jpg


23.jpg


I selected green for the eyes and eye-shadow to pick up the green of the painting as a whole... along with the flashes of red.

24.jpg


Since the figure on the left was Flora with her flowers, I decided upon Bat Woman/Cat Woman mask for the figure on the right as Fauna:

25.jpg


I gave her green eyes (cat eyes?) as well... with a good amount of red bounced into her hair.

26.jpg


27.jpg


I often don't know how or if I am going to clothe the figures until I get to that stage in the painting. At this point I elected a black bikini for Cat/Bat Woman... or Fauna to contrast the reds of Flora.

28.jpg


I finished with red stockings to balance the black on the right and to help avoid the eye staying only at the top of the painting.

30.jpg
 
Top