Recently, I drew this three-headed 'angel figure' with a few nearby architecture elements. I didn't think much of it at the time, but while thumbing through one of my notebooks, the drawing caught my eye . It might be the right thing to add to bring Los Reyes to some kind of satisfying resolution.
So I painted the line work for part of that drawing onto the canvas.
One of the challenges with Los Reyes (in all of its various incarnations) has been trying to unify the top portion of the canvas with the bottom half. In many respects, it is almost two different pieces. The bottom half has more relief elements and is far more textured than the top half -which is almost exclusively just paint on canvas. I think what I need to do is bring some of that texture (and relief structure) up into the top register to help unify the piece.
More paint to the 'paint portion' of the show isn't going to unify the piece the way I had hoped, so it seems the answer lies with bringing some more of that relief quality to the top register.
The first step is tracing and creating a template on a sheet of plastic so I can maintain the same size/proportions.
I then transfer everything over to cardboard, cover it with fabric and then a layer of canvas, attach it to the surface of the canvas, and prime it.
Then I put down a base layer of gray (along with touching up a few areas in the bottom half with the same gray). This gray will probably show up in the frame as well to help tie things together.
Time to start laying some brick.
Once that line work is in place and dry, time to add my muted color scheme.
Touch up a few areas.
Once I have a few base colors in place, I need to add a few more passages of line work. Specifically, I need to add the repeated motif of one king putting his finger in another king's pie while not realizing his own pie is being violated by a separate king.
Here are a couple images before I complete any touch-ups.
Now it's time to go in and clean up a few areas.
Usually, I mix a batch of colors before I start to paint, and treat the whole business more like a paint-by-numbers kind of affair. This is a rare instance when you can see me actually mixing colors on a palette to get a rough approximation of what color I'm trying to duplicate. The original Los Reyes is so old, that I hadn't become so 'paint-by-numbers- yet.
Painting the frame is like putting icing on a cake, yet totally different.....
A few more areas/colors....
You can see the finished piece at Quad City Arts for In/ConFLUENCE this Winter. The opening reception is in conjunction with GalleryHop! on December 8th!