I’ve done a little sketching for the thirty footer, and decided to work with the seven virtues, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice, with Faith, Hope and Charity. The wall I’m thinking of for the piece has a large chair and podium in the centre of it, so I think this might work well because of the distinction between the four cardinal virtues and the three church virtues. Hopefully you can see the drawing well enough to make out the figures standing on their gilded spheres. This is the first sketch, so I fully expect to see change before I commit to shooting pictures for the actual painting, nevertheless, I like the idea. I’d started drawing for a quite different piece with a magician entertaining a crowd, but this is more appropriate for the venue and the composition of the wall that’s available. Painting the virtues is also quite fitting to my liking for classical training in the studio; since my students are going to be helping with the piece I’d like them to have an opportunity to work on a substantial piece of work that reflects the foundational training they’ve already had.
I’ve already painted (and sold) Temperance and Justice, and I like the tall playing card design I produced for them. In this case I’ll be working on seven images of virtue instead of the three (Fortitude, Justice, Temperance) found in the tarot, so I’m digging deeply into renaissance symbolism found in emblem books and alchemical texts to make sure that the imagery is correct.