Ollie the Special Octopus

The cold weather has caused me to stay inside the studio and dream of warmer tropical places. I have always felt a special connection to sea creatures, they always seem happy swimming around while exploring their fanciful world.

 

With this in mind, I wanted to share with you a piece I am working on this week. The smaller scale gives me a chance to share with you some of my creative process within a condensed time frame. There are several more steps than the three images show below, but this gives you an idea of what happens.

 

1.  Graphite drawing to figure out size and spacing to figure out if it is something that will work. Many “great” concepts never get past this stage.

 

2.  The placing of the background or the under-painting, this piece has three colors (green, blue and white) mixed and then the dark green bubble design is created with an ear of corn that paint has been applied to and roll along the surface of the canvas.

 

3.  Then the dropping in of colors and general shapes and then stepping away for several days to distance myself to make sure that the placement still feels correct to me. (This is where white paint becomes my best friend.) Correcting parts that seem wrong and adding different elements to help pull the piece together.

 

4.  When the surface is dry to the touch (three to four days later) I add more details. This usually takes several months to do. The piece will continue to change while I work on it. Even paintings that have been finished for years I often find myself going in and fixing something that looks slightly off.

 

5.  Eyes are the last things added because for me at this point the painting takes on a new life and mission to share with the world.

 

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