This painting has to be one of my all-time favorites. The huge 60″ x 48″ canvas hold this monster bull mahi and its potential meal just below the surface.
As a gift to a good friend for Christmas this year, I found it terribly hard to give this painting up. I think the reason why it was difficult to part with this painting is due to a strong emotional connection I had with this project. I started out with just a simple sketch that I found to be exciting and vibrant. As I sketched me monster bull on the canvas there were several mistakes made to the proportions of the fish. I painted the base coat of green on the fish and couldn’t shake the feeling that the fish lacked depth and proper positioning on the canvas. It was then that I started to HATE this painting.
After some run (Barbancourt rhum for those keeping score at home) I decided to try my hand at several techniques I hadn’t implemented in several years. The multi-colored scales along the sides of the mahi are painted in a pointillism style using mostly cobalt blue and cerulean blue with a hint of bright orange to contrast and create a faux ‘iridescence’. I also took on the task of creating topwater movement that I hadn’t attempted in the past. It was after these two tasks were completed that I fell back in love with this work.
It’s interesting as an artist to look back on the creative process to understand the ebb and flow of emotion poured into a project. In fact, I believe I can safely look back on any painting I created over the last dozen years and find one time I despised what I had put on canvas. However, I find it reassuring to know that this is just one step in the creative process.
This year I am not only running the Art for the Cure charity art shows, but I am also donating art to other causes as well.
This year Team Kimpossible is poised for their second annual “Strike Cancer! Spare the Tatas!” bowling event. Each year they have colored bowling pins for auction as well as prizes during the bowling games but this year they asked that I paint a few for the event. Below I have the first of three pins I have began work on for the event.
Over the past few week I have been working on a 36″ x 24″ piece to donate to an art show my wife and I were setting up. The Art for the Cure Art Show and Silent Auction was held August 28th at the Scan Design Building in Altamonte Springs, FL. The proceeds of the auction went to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
This weekend I am participating in the Orlando PurpleStride 5k event at Blanchard Park in Orlando, FL. Not only will I be running to raise research funds for Pancreatic Cancer for PanCan, but I have also created a custom painting for the event’s raffle. Stop by to see it in person at 8am and stick around for the race and other prizes.
Now things are starting to come together. I decided to ‘wash’ the reef as I felt that the colors were too overbearing for the scene. I was able to take a blue hue and mix it with white acrylic paint and dilute it with water. This allowed me to put a thin layer of paint on the reef making it appear as if it were further away.
I also added a few fish. To do this, I masked their silhouette using white acrylic paint. After the paint dried I colored the fish. This gave me the opportunity to paint true colors on the fish and not have to worry about the background color interfering with my pallet. I am pretty sure I am going to add more fish to this one soon.
I put more highlight on the shark today. I find that if I walk away from the painting for a while, once I return I have a better idea of what it needs. I think of it as ‘seeing the forest AND the trees’.
I also painted the reef for a while. Generally, I like to paint the high-impact colors first. Lots of purple, yellow and orange have shown up. While it looks distracting now, after these colors dry I will put a more dull layer of coral on top of this one. This will help create the illusion of depth. Enjoy!
It seems like hammerheads are pretty popular subjects around here! After completing “Peter’s Reef”, I had another request for a hammerhead over a Caribbean reef. Earlier in the week I sketched the shark and painted the background. Today I began painting the shark with the intention of just putting basic color on the animal. I ended up painting much more than that and began shading, detailing and building the reef. More images will be uploaded soon.
Hammerhead reef is now officially completed. I added a few subtle details to the reef background and painted the gallery wrapped sides of the canvas. My next task is to take it to my giclee scanner to have it archived and give this beauty a name.
Mr. Peter, I hope you enjoy! I present to you ‘Peter’s Reef’.
The final picture in this series is my pallet after the long process chronicled here.
Just a quick update on the progress of Hammerhead reef. I decided not to include any pictures on this update as I am very close to finishing the painting. I have added more detail to the reef as well as the fish in the painting. I am on the fence about adding a few more fish, so I am going to sleep on that thought for now.
The progress of this piece is taking much longer than I had planned. We recently moved into a new studio that halted the progress for a while. I was also in a rather serious car accident where I flipped my truck a couple of times on the interstate. I had been dealing with what I call ‘concussion head’ where it is hard to concentrate and focus on a single task. *Hopefully that is all behind me!*
Keep your eyes on the blog as I will be updating it soon with the FINAL version of Hammerhead reef!
Boy do yellow hues in oil paint take forever to dry or what? If you don’t know what I am talking about, most yellow oil paints take a very long time to dry. Having a half-dry subject on your canvas can be both a blessing and a pain. I often stabilize my hand on the canvas. Having wet oil paint may prove to be catastrophic if I was not paying close attention! I have added some detail to the painting and am getting pretty close to finishing the artwork. Enjoy!