So I have enjoyed doing the outside the box portion of this blog for years, right? Anyway I recently fell in love with a selfie my son and his boss had taken while at work at Crowder Brothers Ace Hardware in Lakeland Florida.
I knew immediately that This was going to be my next painting. I love doing portraiture with intense expression, especially if that expression causes people to smile. I knew that the title would be “Out Side the Box” right away too. My original thought was to put them looking into a box and having the box flaps framing them in. I tried this but couldn’t get the perspective of the box to look right and everyone thought it was a sack. LOL! So I canned that idea. I will have the final piece matted with a cardboard brown mat to get the same look.
SO I set forth to making my preliminary drawing and getting it on canvas.I tried painting it in acrylics, during a heat wave. Very bad idea as acrylics dry so fast. It was so frustrating because I just couldn’t blend the skin tones like I wanted. So I thought “well I will just finish it in oils. But I hadn’t worked with oils in a very long time and didn’t have the size brushes I needed to do the job right.
So again I went back to my original sketch and this time I drew it on all Media board and worked with colored pencil. I have only been working with colored pencil for about 6 months, but I absolutely love them. Being a art teacher down at the local art shop, I used this piece as a technique and style lesson. Double bonus points right?
Anyway I worked for days to get the faces just right, but was never satisfied with them. I liked the face of my son’s friend, but then I didn’t really know him. But Knowing my son so well I just wasn’t satisfied with his look. In frustration I decide to work on the background and vowed to myself that I wouldn’t touch the subjects again till the back ground was finished.
Do now I had to decide if I was going to do the ceiling of the store, or if since the title is outside the box, if I should place them outside and let the sky be their ceiling. I thought the second idea might be too tongue in cheek, but since I had planned to do a sort of comic book, realism cross kind of style, I figured I could get away with it. So on came the clouds. I have always been one to kind of avoid background because to me they are the hard part, but as I laid in the clouds, the faces became alive to me. I actually at one point teared up as I saw my son in the painting looking back at me. I am now a true believer in doing my backgrounds first. I hope you enjoy the final painting. And I hope you continue to think outside the box!