The photo shoot I did with Jeison at a Dominican Republic beach called Guayacanes a few years ago continues to give me visual inspiration. (Find out much more about that photo shoot in the e-books Jeison and Caribbean Adventure.) Recently when I was sketching I did several drawings from some of those photos, and one of them, a drawing I did from a shot of Jeison in a swimsuit with palms in the background, really struck me.
(I say it ‘struck me’ because I’m often surprised by my own work. That’s one of the reasons I like to spend time drawing as often as I can, because I never know what will happen. Sometimes I’ll draw for hours and not like anything I come up with, then without warning magic will strike. When that happens, I’ll sometimes have a drawing I find interesting enough to pursue and turn into a painting.)
I found the sketch interesting enough that I drew several versions of it, and decided to go ahead and try it as a painting.
Sometimes I’ll pursue the drawing process to the point where I have everything just the way I want it, then transfer that drawing as exactly as possible to the canvas. Other times, like this one, I’ve taken things to a certain point in the rough sketches, and feel like doing the final version right on the canvas. That means I’m still working things out, and that’s a bit risky, but it also means I’m going to keep more of my excitement about the image. Getting bored with a painting halfway through is not something I enjoy.
So as you can see, I continued to work things out in pencil on the canvas. When I had it about where I wanted it, I used a black acrylic marker to outline the most important parts. The next step was to cover the whole canvas with a purplish-brown wash, and once that had dried I began laying in the actual colors for the painting.
Over the next couple of days I added color–you can see my progress in the 3 in-progress shots above. As usual, some things worked, and some things didn’t, but overall this painting went pretty smoothly. One of the things I liked about it was how much yellow and orange I used. I love yellow and orange, but making them that powerful in a painting is a little scary. I like how it turned out!