painting ‘darkness looming’

darkness looming - process step 1 Okay, this one will be quick.  It was the last of the paintings based on blurry photos of doodles I made at work last year.  Painted this one Thursday, 5/15/2008.  I’d been thinking about it for a while.  Thinking pretty seriously all week this week, about how I wanted to go from a blurry simple line drawing to a painting.  I considered just doing ink on paper or some other more common media… But I decided that for the background on this one I wanted to have a slight gradation from blackBlackBlack at the top to pure, unpainted white for at least the bottom half of the canvas.  I considered painting the white canvas white, even doing some more complex, swirly, flowing, sort of out-of-the-head-and-up and into black abstract thing.  But I decided to just take some water, wet half the canvas, take some black paint, black the very top and with water only, work small amounts of the black pigment down the canvas in long, nearly-horizontal strokes.  Then, I took the photograph on the right, to  show off all the excitement of watching paint dry.  Literally.

darkness looming - process step 2 darkness looming - process step 3

While I waited, I sketched and doodled, and otherwise tried to come up with another idea for a painting.  It turned out to be ‘1, 2, 3, 4, ‘ …  Anyway, after that excitement ((don’t tip the canvas, don’t move it, the blackness might move “wrong”)), when the black was dried, I used several sharpies to draw the figure.  I won’t bother pretending that it went exactly as I’d hoped.  Well, the proportions came out right.  The feet are good, the angles on the legs, through the knees, up to the shoulders, the angles were good.  The hands (well, ends of the arms) were just how I wanted them.  But then… well, the head’s shape wasn’t 100% right.  And trying to fix it … well, it didn’t … I’m not 100% happy with it.  I’m not 90% happy with it.  My original thought for the figure was that he was looking down, the line across the head being the eye-line, the dark note along the bottom edge being a hint of mouth.  Then, due to errors, the dark at the bottom became increasingly a shadow, a thick line, and… well, when Mandy saw the finished work hanging on the wall when she came home, she said the figure looked happy – the line is a smile in her eyes.  Which I’m now having trouble not seeing.

So, that was that.  This is a simple piece, based on a simple sketch.  Titled ‘darkness looming’, it is now available for purchase at

darkness looming - finished

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Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.

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