Tag Archives: original watercolors
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.
Next I started successive layers of an indigo, Van Dyke brown and cerulean blue mix on the Buick body. In most areas i did 5-6 layers. Once the body color was done I began working on the back wheel and the inside of the car. My penultimate task was to paint in Gary’s Coffee shop in the background. The reference photo didn’t show this, but since I’m going to display this painting at Gary’s, I thought it would be a nice touch to show the shop in a painting.
Finally, to finish the painting, I softened edges, cleaned up lines, scratched in some details, and added another layer of paint to the body of the car.
It seems all my paintings have areas I don’t care for and others that I do like. This one is no exception. I struggled with the front wind shield. The reference photo was no help and I wanted to have some reflection. In the end, I gave up and left it alone. The parts I like best are the rear wheel area and the reflections in the back side window.
I had tried painting marbles before with limited success. I think it just takes some observing. In this painting I returned to my favorite color crayons and added the marbles and a long piece of string. I used automobile detailing tape that was 1/8 inch wide to mask off the string and then masking fluid to mask off all the crayons and marbles. I then proceeded to put a blue wash over the entire paper. After removing the tape and masking fluid, I masked off the reflections on the marbles and the light on the crayons. Finally, I started painting crayons and marbles adding numerous glazes to get the colors the right value and intensity. I removed the masking fluid from the marbles and crayons and spent several hours adding and darkening shadows. I may have overworked this a bit, but I am happy with the results.