Meet Black Jack! Black Jack is a friend that I have known for some time, his person being a neighbor who has an office in my building. He is a sweet fellow whose bark is certainly worse than his bite! His person asked me to paint his portrait, which was a wonderful experience for me!
First, I took some photos of Jack in the studio. He was very excited, and moved around quite a bit, stopping only for a second to pose.
Next, I played around with his photo in Photoshop, using digital filters to abstract the image into an interesting composition. Then I started painting.
All of my paintings begin with a simple line drawing on a dark background. Sometimes I freehand the drawings, but with Black Jack, I traced the image from the digitally altered photograph onto a canvas using an overhead transparency. After the drawing is drawn onto the canvas with a light colored pencil, I begin blocking in colors with acrylic paint.
It looks a little bizarre at this point…
As much as I enjoyed the tail in the previous stages, it just didn’t seem to work right for the overall composition, so I took it out.
Eventually, it all comes together. Black Jack’s portrait is finished!
Allowing others to see my step by step process like this is a courageous new step for me. Although I am not at all nervous about sharing my process or having others look over my shoulder, so to speak, there are times that I do not know exactly where a painting is going. It is a bit unnerving to allow others to watch as you venture into uncertain territory.
I was brave enough with this piece to actually allow “live” updates to Twitter (@BZTAT) as I was working on the piece. My followers on Twitter seemed to enjoy that, so I plan to post future endeavors “in process” as I work. Search #bztatptg if you are interested in following these updates on Twitter.
Life is an Adventure!