Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Swarm of Snakes

Started the next painting for a group show at a well known gallery. I'm pretty happy with it so far. It's not guaranteed that this piece will be accepted into the show, but nonetheless, even if it is rejected by the gallery, I really am happy with the concept of this piece.

I did do a lot of initial agonizing over this one. I started out making it an 18 x 24 piece, but then discovered there was a size limit for the group show. Additionally, there was a great deal of empty space at the top of the sketch, which was accentuated when I transferred it to panel. I redrew the whole thing, proportionally smaller, and discovered that it looked better on a shorter, proportionally wider panel. I blocked in violet and veridian green acrylic underpainting yesterday, and put in thin oil under painting for the distant background today. The dark violet grey foreground will be covered over with lighter greens (clover and grass). The snakes on the ground are blocked in so that I'll remember where to have the grass indented from the weight of the slithering bodies of the serpents.

The skull has a cool greenish underpainting, and the floor of the skull is underpainted with blue-green. Eventually the cranium will be filled with writhing snakes, so any part of the bottom of the skull that shows through will be in deep shadow.

The snakes will be the endangered San Francisco Garter Snake. It's quite an attractive species, and I've used them before in my works.

2012 is already shaping up to be quite a busy period. I need to finish several watercolors of hybrid creatures for the naturalists' journal project, for solo exhibit in March; two pieces for group shows with the Beinart International Surreal Art Collective; the piece above for a group show in March, and a solo show in late 2012 at Bert Green Fine Art.

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