Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NAUTICA

She's all done, for the moment. Minor tweaking is inevitable.
click to see it larger 
24" x 30" oil, watercolor pencil & ink on wood
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Here's a song for you to listen to while I go in to far too much detail about my painting process:
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Finished her up yesterday. I'm a big fan of the size, it's a little larger than my normal oil paintings, but still manageable. I had a lot of fun playing with nautical elements, as that world fascinates me so much. The mermaid tattoo is inspired by art nouveau designs. The quote says "fair winds and following seas", which is a traditional mariner's phrase, it's like a farewell/blessing. It gives me chills a little bit.

Throughout the painting process I go through many emotional ups and downs. Mostly switching from "this isn't working, you've lost your touch, Charmaine" and "you know you'll get it eventually, just keep at it". Well, eventually it gets to a point that I'm comfortable with and I take it to the next step.
Here's a little bit about my painting process: the longest part for me is the conceptualizing. I spend a lot of time on the computer sketching in Photoshop, playing with colors and themes. Since I work from photo references I generally draw on top of the photos so I can change the hairstyles, clothing (or no clothing), etc. Once I feel good about the image I'll start sketching it on the wood. Even though my paintings are highly planned out, I leave a lot of room for changes and improvising.

After I'm happy with the pencil sketch, I start with the skin. I guess you could consider my technique more like "finger painting". I like to blend the colors together with my fingers, I find it's a much smoother result than using a brush. (My flesh color palette consists of Yellow Ochre, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Umber, Titanium White and Ultramarine Blue.)

Once I am satisfied with the skin, I start the hair (my favorite part). I start by blocking in most of the color and shape with flat black oil paint. Once the black dries a bit, I bust out my India ink and draw in individual strands, just to give it more life.


The tattoos are predominately black watercolor pencil. I know, water and oil don't mix, but somehow the pencil works great on top of the oil paint (once it has dried a little bit). To get the color hues, I mix a lot of paint thinner with the oil so it's nice and transparent. I suppose some linseed oil would work too. If I feel like it needs more definition then I'll go in with my ink to get some darker lines. 


For the blue halo, I was in a bit of a predicament. I felt like it really needed it and I wasn't going to be happy if it wasn't there, but it's difficult to get a smooth and even color when painting with thinned-down paint directly on the wood, as it soaks in so quickly. Then I found an old bottle of Bleached Linseed Oil buried in the depths of my art drawers. It adds a nice gloss and transparency to the oil, which made it really easy to use directly on the wood. It's also thin enough where I could paint directly on top of the hair to get the blue behind it.


Anyway. Yeah. It works wonders. I wish I had used it for the skin! I'm going to experiment with it on my next painting that I'm starting tomorrow. Yes, more tattooed ladies coming up!

Well, thanks for looking, hope you like her.
xo
C

29 comments:

kΔte chΔppell said...

This is super amazing! Your work and talent is truly inspirational, great job :)

charmaine olivia said...

thanks kate :)

Aoife Blake said...

I said it before when it was being completed and I mean it sooo much more now that it's finished .... absolutely beautiful! :)

fep said...

its really cool how you described your process, i like the fact that you love each image so much i think it really shows through in the finished product, i always find it interesting to compare notes, everyone seems to work in such wonderfully different ways
thank you for the nice read

meetmeinthedayroom said...

I love every bit of skin you paint. It's so luminous and alive.

Jared said...

Beautiful! you have wonderful control of your brush stroke! the paints is so smooth. i really like that tattoos as well you have a lovely attention to dental :)

rosemaryx said...

i'm in love with her face. so pretty.

-grace

renee anne said...

I love this post so much. thank you for sharing these details. so beautiful.

renee xx

charmaine olivia said...

thank you!!

Ember said...

I LOVE THIS! Thank you for sharing your methods. I'm just starting out again, I took a 7 year break. It makes me feel more relaxed to know that no matter where you are at, artistically, there is always room for experimenting and no right or wrong way of trying things out. This is very exciting! =)

I look forward to seeing more beauties!

kiss me quick said...

Your so talented! I'm very inspired by everything you do.

Following!

xxx kissmequick

Cassandra said...

Holy crap, I have such an art-crush on you.

brianna said...

This is truly an amazing and beautiful piece. I always look forward to your work

angie said...

Lovely to read more about your process, thanks for sharing :)

The final result looks fantastic!

André said...

I sent you a SPAM mail, only for artists... look your inbox and try to find it!

Antonio Garrido said...

Your work is amazing! Really good!!!

agathine said...

hey It's so great to read about the progress and the technic you uses. Very instructing and fascinating. I like so much learning about how other people working, drawing, painting. It's giving me some idea for my work. WEll, you're great!!!

Juliette said...

You are so brilliant, my dear! Love this love you love love love.

Anonymous said...

Are you goona make a print of this one? i would love to buy it!

dan said...

Hey Charmaine, beautiful work. The raw wood is stunning. Do you paint with your oils directly on the raw unprepared surface, or do you gesso or seal it ahead of time? I would really love to know. Thanks for sharing your process. -dan-

julialuckett said...

I there! I just came across your blog and I love it. You have a beautiful hand for art, some wonderful delicacies. I am following you on bloglovin and I'd be so honored if you followed me :)

Stay lovely,
Julia
http://julialuckett.wordpress.com/

lovestreamsable.com said...

Fantastic work; such detail and I feel so included in your process. Thank you.

Peter Fong said...

This is amazing. So good! Her skin looks so real! Love the tatts. Love it all

Autofantastico said...

Wow very impresive, colours are fantastic

Casey said...

I love all of these paintings...I'm not sure what the free print give away is all about bout I would love one...by the way ..."Will you marry me"? :-) <3

ian said...

Hi there, I was just passing by and i got this story nice, I enjoyed reading it.

Anonymous said...

why do your art?

Anonymous said...

woow very interesting working..I want a picture.
http://panoturk.blogspot.com/

JONATHAN RIVERA BAREÑO said...

Hi. I'm jonathan from Colombia, I like this painting so much I'm tatooing myself the ship of your painting, I would like to ask you if you have a sketch or an image or a website you got the inspiration from, the question is: the ship desing does exists from somewhere or it's entire yours? in that case, do you have a ship drawing similar to it to put it on my body?¡ ..Thanks for your time, and your job is amazing. Thank you!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog, and thank you so much for commenting!
♥,
Charmaine