Last Saturday I got to help Jennifer Daniel, Elle Kim, and Lotta Nieminen paint the men’s room at the Art Directors Club. Our theme centered around metaphors for male body parts…and I was assigned the snake wall! They told me, ‘do a celtic knot snake’ and I ran with it.
The whole room turned out awesome and it was such a blast painting with such talented ladies for a whole day. Tiring, but such a huge payoff in the end.
Starting the painting: I began with Krink, but it was—to no one’s surprise—way, way too drippy, so I switched to acrylic.
The tail. I guess it looks like a rattlesnake, but in my head he’s supposed to be a Black Mamba…
They let me sign my work! (Also, note how low to the ground this bad boy is. Crouching for hours!)
The most successful part of the snake. Lotta painted the head segment shown here.
Jennifer’s swords (for “sword fighting” LOL) and Elle’s garden hose.
Elle finishing up her lettering, “Pride and Joy” next to Lotta’s “Prince Charming” and Jennifer’s sausage links.
It’s going to be hard for me not to use the men’s room whenever I go to the Art Directors Club in the future, for sure!
UPDATE: NEW PICTURE OF FULL MURAL
I only remembered to photograph the process of this painting once—and at a really early stage that has little relevance to the final state—so I can’t really show much of a progression…but here you go, for what it’s worth:
After I got to this stage I sort of freaked out and couldn’t figure out how I was going to execute the smoke-words, and very nearly chickened out and painted the smoke as cartoon-like lumpy clouds. I eventually found a way to treat the drawing of the smoke much like the hair I made for David Lynch, and then painted it with many, many translucent acrylic glazes of white and light gray (a huge step for me as I have never before been able to work transparently with acrylic successfully).
Again with the paw-hands….someday I’ll get my act together. This time I wasn’t able to render the hand to a point that I was ever pleased with, so I just covered it up with a plume of smoke.
UPDATE: Here is what the final FINAL version looked like when I hung it up for Thesis judging. I made the smoke a little more opaque, as I was told it was pretty illegible…I guess it looks better, and, if nothing else, a lot more similar to the other paintings:
(Thanks for the photo, Yong!)
So this is my portrait of Amy Sedaris midway through its execution (number 5 in the series). At this point I hadn’t yet fixed her collarbone and sternum, nor had the ribbons been painted.
And here is what it looked like when finished:
All in all, this was probably the fastest painting to execute in the series, even though I invented that bow and her outfit completely from my head. It’s also one of the weirder ones, and the least accurate likeness. But I like it.
I was too busy during the actual semester to post as I went along painting my thesis, but, fortunately, I managed to photograph the process. Here are some of the steps that I took in painting my portrait of Gary Busey:
Even though this was my sixth in a series of paintings incorporating ribbons with text and such, this was the first time I actually bothered to fact check what “real” ribbons look like, as well as the first time I tried writing in cursive with a skinny gross-grain ribbon and an iron…made for some pretty cool reference (that I never bothered using when it came time to draw the thing).
Honestly, I rather like the liberties I was able to take in my version of the type, as I chose not to restrict myself to the angularity the steam iron imposed upon the real ribbon. Someday soon I will post a drawing of Steven Hawking that I did a few weeks ago in which I went the opposite direction—totally angular—which turned out pretty well, too.
(Sorry about how blurry this photo is, but my studio has pretty terrible lighting and I’m working with a camera phone here) Anyways…here is my under-drawing on acrylic-toned board. Feel free to laugh at the terrible state of his right hand.
And here we have an anatomical pink (or calamine, if you prefer) background laid in with acrylic. I liked the ridiculous contrast between the green and pink so much I almost left the lettering as-is at this stage. Pretty glad I didn’t do that. (Thanks, Will.)
And here is what I ended up with. I treated his suede blazer and shirt much more loosely than any of the clothing in the other paintings of this series, and it makes me wish I had done the same for the rest. Pretty much all of them existed in a very similar state at sometime in their progression, but I have a bad habit of over-finishing, and a lot of my work ends up looking a little stiff as a result. This jacket is now my reminder to stay loose and to not nitpick things that are working. And his right hand is my reminder that sometimes I really do need to spend the extra hours to make the anatomy look at least plausible, if not elegant.
disclaimer: I am a bit blog-jaded (I think I’d already made/abandoned at least 4 before leaving high school), a bit over-committed, and a bit nervous about showing the world my sketches and work processes, etc. but I promise I will do my best. The plan is to showcase my sketches, never-finished or otherwise unpublished works, process steps, and inspirations here.
For starters, here’s a painting of angry Williamsburg Hasids that I did a few months ago and basically hasn’t seen the light of day since.