18″ x 24″ 140 lb. watercolor paper
I had recently watched a short piece on Oregon Art Beat about artist Jhenna Quinn Lewis who specializes in Trompe L’oeil paintings. Trompe L’oeil is the technique of creating extremely realistic almost three dimensional imagery. I had tried something similar when I first started painting 6 years ago, but it wasn’t very good and I didn’t know I was attempting Trompe L’oeil.
The Collector is my attempt at Trompe L’oeil while integrating thin strips of tape to mask off areas I want to remain white. These strips represent string that give the painting a more three dimensional look. Geoffrey McCormack, a friend and painter, has created some remarkable pieces using tape. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery as they say.
I thought about making the background black, but later got some good advice from my wife-muse that it might look better with a lighter color. So I decide to paint the background as wood. I found a great YouTube demonstration on painting wood in watercolors so off I went.
This entire painting took close to 20 hours. I did multi-layered washes for the wood and even added two more layers after I thought the painting was done. Some of the stamps are real stamps and others are ones I invented.
Favorite parts of the painting? The Duesenberg car stamp and the shadows of the white strings.