Monday, January 29, 2007

These are the preliminary studies for a painting I'm working on. I look after a young lad called Luke, he's going to be the star of the painting so I really need to get it right! I wanted to base the composition on the Velasquez painting of the pope. It has real power and dignity. The studies you see here are all based around trying to figure out how the composition works and how I can put Luke into it. I went to the recent exhibition in London of his work and had a look at loads of paintings (not the pope one unfortunatly, as it wasn't there) Luke wanted to be in his Karate suit, which poses a slight problem as the bright white would dominate the picture and distract from the relationship between his hands and face (the important bit) In the Velasquez painting he gets around the problem of the white by painting it slightly off colour, ageing has probably yellowed it further but I doubt it was ever bright white. Also in that painting the pope is wearing a hat and a fantastic bit of red fabric (sorry I don't know what its called) that breaks up the white and helps to frame the face. This painting will have to be based on photos as it would be impractical to paint with oils in Luke's house, I'm sure he wouldn't appreciate the smell of turps!! Me and his mum placed him in a blue jacket that I hope it will act in a similar way to the red materiel in the painting of the pope. Other solutions have to be found to get the painting to balance, the background tone, lighting etc. Still at least I've started at last!!

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