Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lion Grotesque

These are two of the projects I did as a scenic painting intern at The Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Sculpture 1'-6" x 2'-7" x 5"

I started the sculpture first. After building up layers of aluminum foil on a plywood base and applying a protective coating, I started the marble painting. I researching different types of real life marble, and then pushing the color and contrast in my painted rendition. Then I lit the unpainted sculpture as a model for a charcoal value study and the final trompe l'oeil painting over the marble base. After finishing off the sculpture with its distressed and textured paint treatment, I was eventually able to remove the plywood backing and replace it with a simple frame. 

Fantasy Marble 3'-7" x 6'

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Portrait of Lawrence Lee after Anton Raphael Mengs

3'-0" x 4'-0"

This was one of my internship projects at Seattle Repertory Theater. The idea was to swap a contemporary person into a historical painting, as if you needed an on-stage portrait to both look like the actor/actress playing the role and be period appropriate. Above is my painting of Lawrence Lee, a friend of mine, after a self-portrait by Anton Raphael Mengs, circa 1775 (below). Note: the reference I was working with was printed in a book. It was darker and didn't quite match the web copy I found for this blog post. 

To get a rich black background which would stay dark under bright stage lights, the painting is on a black velour. I started by overlaying a transparency grid on the reference and stretching a corresponding string grid over the canvas. Then I transferred the drawing over in white chalk and carefully dry-brushed an under-painting in white; a heavily loaded brush would just clump and mat up the nap of the velour. The grey scale pass was essential to getting any of the other colors to read since the black velour so voraciously sucked up any available light.