After my morning class I got started preparing the angels and devils sketches, moving toward decisions on what these big pieces are going to be.
I’m particularly enjoying the scorpion-like people in the desert, and the hermit with the three figures in the distance. The two angels are more obvious, lacking subtlety, so they might not make the cut. I plan to continue drawing to see where the ideas go to, following the pathway the images take rather than trying to dictate their growth too severely. I like the way that one of the figures has fallen to the ground in the second scorpion sketch, for example, it brings a narrative to the image. Will the other scorpion person attack him now he’s down? Why is he on the floor?
I also spent a bit of time altering the hands in the Fortitude painting, giving them a bit of drama as they move to hold the mouth of the bear, controlling it without effort – not unlike the magician card. I think placing them in action is more interesting than having them already engaged.
…waiting for the canvas to arrive so I can get started preparing the big panels! I’m hoping that it will come in the next couple of days. The panels are leaning against the wall patiently, although sometimes I have the strange paranoid sensation that they’re chuckling quietly to themselves, “yeah right… have a good time, ha ha hah…” But this nervousness is superficial because although these are big pieces they require the same amount of work as a smaller painting, needing the exact same work to make the figures correct and the same techniques to finish them, so ignoring the chimeras of inner trepidation I’m focusing on my excitement to begin, for these will make a really impressive addition to my body of work.
Meanwhile, the Fortitude bear has grown, I’ve sketched some new hands (which are no good and will have to be completely redone, but doing these has helped me to understand how the correct hands will go. I’ve called Jen to see if she can drop in sometime in the next few days so I can use her hands in the same light as that in which I had her pose in the first place, so with a little luck this will all stay on track to be finished in a week or two.
I’m still looking for my models for the Devil painting, which is morphing in my imagination. I’m not so set on having overweight slaves because that would imply that greed is the only vice that is available to prevent the initiate from finding their way to the divine, which among other things is actually blocked by enslavement to material possessions, laziness, greed, lust, and excess.
I’ve been breaking down the composition of the Devil painting today, making construction lines on the canvas and sketching a little. I’m going to need a couple of models for this one, a man and a woman to pose as the slaves. I’m not completely satisfied that this is the image I’m actually going to paint, so I will spend a little time with it to see where it goes.
I got the first structural layer down for the Fortitude image, using Jen as the model and sketching a bear into it as the beast. It’s going to work well, I think. There aren’t many readily available bears around here, so I’m inventing him, which is fun. He’s twisting around the legs of the woman, completely disarmed by her quiet but immense strength.