Week 12 – Fantasy Painting

Time Machine – 2019

I had a talk with my teacher.  We’re all really frustrated that we are behind with all the work we need to complete for class.  She told us that she is doing this intentionally so that we start to paint faster.  The only way to do that is to just do it.  By forcing us to a tighter deadline, we step up and do it.   I can certainly see the wisdom of her decisions although I still want to pout once in a while.  She says that we have to be able to be working on 3-4 paintings at a time if we want to be able to make any money at this.  We are all slowly learning to get out of our own way.

One of our tasks in this class is to do a fantasy painting. I love fantasy artwork. To me, it takes a special kind of mind to create something that doesn’t exist. I wanted to see what a mermaid would look like with a fancy tail like most beta fish. This was the result – In the Deep. It’s of a mermaid doing a powerful stroke with her tail as she plummets up toward the surface of the water from the depths. She has a fantastically detailed tail and she happens to be blue. Very blue.

As part of the class, I did a color study.  I hated doing this, I knew it wasn’t going to look like much.  The beginning steps of any project always looks terrible to me. It’s designed to be just a quick sketch to get a feel for what the painting will look like.

Having done it, I finally realize the value of doing this.  By doing just this tiny color study, I can already tell where I’m going to have issues, and what will go smoothly.  The torso looks fine, and the tail I can nail although it doesn’t look like it on this.  It’s the face and hair that will give me trouble, so it is time to look for another reference photo to use for that part of the painting, and I was able to figure this out with a 4″ x 6″ color sketch on scrap canvas rather than wasting my time and money on a larger canvas.

Here’s how the final painting turned out:

In the Deep 8″ x 10″ on stretched canvas. Sold. Giclees and prints are available.


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