I found this picture a few months ago on facebook and took inspiration.
Admittedly, at the time I wasn’t sure why it appealed, so with my usual flair for the reckless, I blithely went ahead and started painting. Focusing on the anatomy of the buffed musculature system analysed in tones of magenta I followed the yellow brick road wondering where this painting was going to take me. Why magenta? Because I discovered the colour while painting another subject and decided I wanted to experiment with its tones.
Standing back to view my handiwork, I wasn’t happy. “What to do?” I asked anyone who would listen. My art tutor Stephen Buntrock suggested glazing the figures in Quinaquadine Rose, so I did.
Didn’t like it, the figures looked like skinned rabbits. Taking it home, my husbands response was a definitive, “Don’t like it, it gives me the creeps.” With some trepidation I left the painting in the middle of the lounge the better to study it at each available moment hoping for inspiration. An image of a golden ribbon wrapping itself around man and baby floated past my minds eye which bought about the next question. How earth do I mix the colour gold? As it turned out, it was easy. Google the answer. Taking a dollop of lemon yellow and Burnt Sienna mixed with white, voila! The colour appeared as if by magic. I sketched in the ribbon aka the umbilical cord with chalk to guide my fine brush. Excited by the progress, I became very brave grabbing my trusty rag rubbing the colour with a burnishing movement where necessary.
I couldn’t believe the difference. For the purposes of realism, shadowing and highlights were required on the umbilical cord, and the tonal shadowing on the mans shoulders arm and face needed alteration. Mixing Vermillion with Spectrum Yellow gave a warm orange which was lightly rubbed into the required areas. And the final stroke of genius even if do say so myself? Rubbed a mixture of Permanent mauve and Pthalo Blue into the background.
I now know why this picture struck a cord. It reminds me of the bond between my husband and our son, of my male cousins and their children, of my grandfather and his daughters and grandchildren. The Protector.