Here’s the second stage of the project. I had to put it on the wall, because I knew from experience that everything would be skewed if I painted it on a flat surface. I had to take down some pictures from the wall and move some furniture (like the water jug) to have enough wall space to put this on. And I had to put down some newsprint to protect the wall. (I have a plan for this painting, actually, which is the reason why I’m doing it on the back of the box that a table from Ikea came in and not on something more archival, like canvas.) It won’t be forever, I tell the cats, when they ask silently why their food has been moved.
The first thing I’d done was sketch in the face and hands. I just did a placeholder face, not an accurate face, for reasons I’ll explain later. I was going to paint the background gold, and quickly found out that the super-cheap paint I bought from Michaels wasn’t saving me any money, because it had so little pigment in it that you have to use coat after coat after coat to have it even show at all. So I went back to Michael’s and bought some gold spraypaint. Then I masked the face, and took the sheet outside and sprayed it all gold. When I came back in the house, I noticed that the house smelled like spraypaint, because I’d painted right outside the studio window, and the windows were open. So, um, yeah. Don’t do that. (Unless you like the smell of spraypaint. Actually, I kind of like it.)
After that, it felt a lot more managable to start building layers. I had to mix the cheap-ass gold paint with other pigments. I also layered in some more blue and black. I was listening to This American Life while I painted this, so now when I look at it, I think about the story I was listening to when I painted it. Art + audiobooks are a good combination.