Feb 2010

Sleeve Tattoo Painting

The shoe that fits one person pinches another. There is no recipe for living that suits all cases.
Carl Jung

Working digitally as an illustrator has become my “Default Setting.” I’m sure the same is true for the vast majority of illustrators working today. The advantages of digital art creation have been discussed ad nauseam, (one word - UNDO!), and won’t be rehashed here. But for all of digital art’s advantages, I do feel that there is something in the creation of digital artwork that comes up short in the process. Make no mistake, I’m not arguing the artistic validity of the finished work. Readers of my blog know I have argued the exact opposite.

I’m referring to the experience, the steps involved in bringing an artistic idea to reality. While I’m certainly not a strict traditionalist, I personally find there is a joy to the process of what is now referred to as “traditional” painting that is unmatched in the digital equivalent. Having to prepare a painting’s ground, mixing color instead of pulling samples with the Eyedropper Tool, having only a single layer to work on, and the lack of that glorious Undo button, make for an experience is extremely satisfying. It keeps me reaching for the brushes and tubes of paint as often as possible.

The subject of this painting is a local guy who was good enough to act as a model. He does have a full tattoo sleeve, but I’ve also used a bit of artistic license with the design, so this isn’t a strictly accurate portrait - unless the painting is cropped at the neckline. He was also the subject of a previous portrait study that you can see here. The painting is acrylic on gessoed board, my traditional media of choice.

Happy Groundhog Day

The Rodent has spoken. Six more weeks of winter.