Thursday, August 08, 2013

Cézanne's Underpants

 Over the summer I've been having a little fun collaborating with my friend and fellow painter Lexi Thomas on some paintings. We collaborated on another painting a few months ago which was pretty interesting as we both have similar  but different tastes and approaches as painters. We shared studio space at school at PAFA and even had classes and teachers together. In my comics career I've often collaborated on making pages, inking or penciling other artists work and vise-versa. It a big part of how the medium/business works on the commercial level.  However, although there are painters who have collaborated, painting is almost 99.9% a solo effort. There is a collaboration in a way between teacher and student where the teacher sets up a model or still life for the student to work from, giving you a choice, but still setting up the "game' as it were.

So I was interested for fun to see how this painting would go as its not from observation like the first one we did together, but from imagination and some photo swipe we both used. This paintings was a collaboration of imaginations.  I started with roughing out something to start above, I found a pic I liked to work from, though I discarded a lot and just took bits of it and made up the background or environment--or what could be one. I passed it off to Lexi and she had the painting for about a month and a half and delivered the painting back to me as it is below.
Lexi really added a lot here and it was surprising to see how much she changed many things like the figure and also pushed the values closer together. The addition of another figure and the umbrellas made this a much more specific scene as well as making it more balanced. Her paint handling was also different, it was more crunchy or chunky than what I had started with. Adding the shirt/towel on the main figure was another way of adding something specific yet hiding the identity of what I had started with by not finishing the figures face. Another note was adding that brown area at the bottom right which helped stop the composition.


Here is the final paintings with the additions I made. I decided it needed some additional figures, which i modified from the photo ref Lexi gave me that she took at the beach and then manipulated in Gimp.  Then I decided to add an additional figure on the "color note' that she had indicated. This added to my thinking a lot more interest and space at the bottom of the painting, which is often the weakest part of paintings, especially landscapes. I worked on the sky and clouds too refining shapes, a lot of little things. in the end I was pretty happy with our experiment/collaboration. You kinda' have to check your ego a bit, which is hard for a painter, we are like cats, not like musicians. This painting was like a jazz piece with each of us taking the melody and ideas from the other and hopefully making a piece that reflects the best licks of us both as painters.

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