Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Patriots and Paints this V-Day...

Like most guys, I tend to draw a blank when it comes to Valentines Day. Of course we love our wives/girlfriends, but that usually NEVER means that we can find the right way ON THE SPOT to show it, like we're expected to do every February 14.

On top of that. Like most guys these days, I'm too am financially restricted, so anything barely interesting is out of the realm of possibilities.  So what to do?

Got money? No.
Got art supplies? Yes.
Got time? Sort of. Not really.
Got a wife who loves the New England Patriots? Yes.

It has been years since the last time I really painted anything "legit," not a goofy sign or something.  I was a little nervous--was this one of those times, when I would try to recapture the spark of about 10 YEARS AGO, and end being glad that I didn't tell anyone that I was painting a portrait of Tim Brady because it ended up sucking so bad because of rust?

Because of severe time constraints, I knew I'd have to use acrylic paint.  You know what they say about acrylics: "the good thing is that they dry fast.  The bad thing is that they dry fast."  It's tough to to blend when the paint is getting stuck a few minutes after applying it!  You pretty much have to have a clear picture in your mind of what you want when you're using acrylics.  It's hard to have good things happen as a surprise to you.

The original image was of him yelling in what looked like sunny skies.   Of course, their home stadium is in Massachusetts, and the playoffs are in January, when it's usually frightfully cold.  So I wintered up his gear a bit, darkened the background and added snowfall via the gold ol' paintbrush splatter effect.  Here and there, I would press my finger on certain "snowflakes" to make them both bigger and translucent, like they were flakes that were much closer to the viewer and thus out of focus.  Faintly in the background, I indicated distant crowds with small blotches of various colors.  And if the guy's yelling, then there needs to be some steam coming out, which was done with greyish white mixed with a glaze from Golden.

Speaking of colors, I had a bit of a challenge, replicating the jersey color.  It turns out to be cobalt blue + cad red deep and a tiny touch of pthalo blue.  I have to say that while it's rough, the jersey is my favorite part, in particular his left shoulder and the ripples on his chest.

The face mask also turned out dimensional, thanks to highlights and softening of the back edge side of his helmet.

I know that Rembrandt isn't quivering in his grave or anything, but still it was a bit of a relief to know that if necessary, I could still paint.

It was also nice to know that I could give my wife a gift that she won't possibly expect.

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