Building a tableau
In today's post I want to show you a bit more of the process of the painting "Mysteries of Miskatonic University".
In the first part I told a bit about materials and inspiration I gathered, out of time and organisational reasons most of them are photoreferences.
In my point of view photoreferences are an absolut legitimate support for your final painting but they do come with certain challenges.
Firstly they are already translation from the threedimonsional space into a twodimensional picture which limits the information we can gather from them.
And secondly most photographies do as well limit the value range by clipping in the highlights and shadows.
What I did to deal with those challenges was firstly to make a little tableau, a small modelkit of my compositional sketch.
This practice has already been in use mainly by painters of historical or mythological scenes in the 19th century:
I start out to build a model of my main character:
I built a rough model out of mash wire and tecclay and lit it:
Here is another picture from a later stage where I used additional reference material for the gun. In the background you can see that I also used a small globe that has a small bulb inside to get a notion of how the bluish moonlight falls onto the main character's shoulder:
I then did a black and white drawing on my board and an underlying tonal painting (in acrylics, I used raw umber on this one).
After that I painted a smaller sized poster study, a rough version of the painting, to explore color range and tones I want to use in the final piece:
Here you can also see my set up while I'm working. On the right hand side I have my computer, I usually load all my photoreference into one Photoshop file on different layers. Far left is a small taboret with brushes, water reservoir (on this painting I used water soluble oil colors) and next to that the tableau.
During the process of painting I didn't do any photographs (sorry, it consumed my whole attention :-)): I worked from area to area, starting out with the face:
This is the final piece:
For the figure of Siobhain McCorkindale I also used the principles of shapewelding and as well the windmill principle to help her better blend into the picture.
Main painting references for this painting were
James Gurney's Imaginative realism
and as well the tutorial videos by Scott Waddell, especially "the Art of painting" and the extended version of Webisode 7
I hope you enjoyed that little trip through this painting process and could draw something for you from it.
Tomorrow I'll be off to Cologne for a week and I'm looking forward to be sharing some impressions from there with you.