For my next painting, I wanted to use all the advice from my crit to really start developing my work. I knew I wanted to use more hands and feet than usual into one painting but have them at different opacities and colours. Before beginning my canvases, I roughly sketched out how I wanted it to look with the different images numbered and mashed together.
I began with the darkest areas first, the crimson leg and arm that were going to be barely visible. Using this technique of fading it into the black abyss, gave it the haunting atmosphere I wanted. I then wanted to contrasts this with some, still dark, but also vibrant blues. With the background and a lot of the shading an exaggerated black, the highlights in the skin tone created a very rich and almost fluorescent ultramarine. I then created an accurate skin coloured leg, protruding outwards. This I wanted to be the foreground of the piece with the additional dark crimson hand subtly resting on top of the knee. I loved the addition of the hand as I feel it portrayed the ownership of the mysterious character in the background.
Below is my finished piece which took around 2 and a half hours (50x50cm). For me, I have always been very slow at creating, often naturally creating a rather stiff style. With this particular piece, I made my brushes larger, used more oil paints and carried a looseness with my brushstrokes in order to produce (I believe) a more interesting and fluid piece. As my work progressed I started to decide I wanted to give my series of paintings a name. After considering a few options, I decided upon ‘Erebus’. In Greek mythology, Erebus /ˈɛrɪbəs/, also Erebos (Ancient Greek: Ἔρεβος, Érebos, “deep darkness, shadow” or “covered” ), was often conceived as a primordial deity, representing the personification of darkness . I therefore felt this truly represented my paintings as turning the unsettling background into this person or movement that almost swallowed up the foreground. The crit on Wednesday helped me enormously as it gave my project another avenue to explore. This piece is by far the one I’m most proud of as it is a real turning point in my confidence as an artist.
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