Here’s what the color study looks like as of today.
Archive for June, 2009
The sense of space, scale and action in Rembrandt’s “Night Watch,” influenced my painting. The lighting is dramatic. I felt all the air above the subjects’ heads helped create a sense of grandeur and the smoky, dark background infuse the piece with a sense of mystery.
I learned from my workshop with John Angel that Rembrandt would sometimes use as many as 20 coats of glaze to get the feeling of atmosphere and depth in his backgrounds.
Rembrandt was a man of deep faith and often painted scenes from the Old and New Testament, his draftsmanship skills and insights into the soul of man were remarkable.
The Night Watch is in the Rijkksmuseum in Amsterdam, but closer to home the MFA in Houston has recently acquired a beautiful Rembrandt portrait of a woman and it is currently on display there.
While my son, Mark, and I were reviewing the photos the day after the shoot, he commented that one of the models looked a great deal like the Virgin Mary instead of an angel. Her robe was red and blue and her face had the sweetness of Mary. (Through out art history Mary has worn a red and blue robe and is easily recognized through out cathedrals because of the distinct colors of her clothes.)
I loved the stars in Bouguereau’s painting around Mary’s head because they were so subtle. I have decided to add stars around my Mary, but not in a perfect circle.
I want the stars to have just begun to settle around her head as if they were beginning to form the halo and she had just arrived moments before the last angel on the scene. I felt this would add to the narrative action and interest in the painting.
After examining the photos I decided that I wanted one of the angels to have just arrived on the scene to make the composition more interesting and the viewer feel more a part of the immediacy of the painting.
I selected the angel, Mark to be the angel with billowing robes. After examining photos of the Nike of Samothrace from the Louvre in Paris, I was totally intimidated. How could a sculptor make marble look totally fluid, especially one with out power tools over a 2000 years ago? It’s easy for me to get discouraged when we compare myself to other artists!
While sitting at my easel, I came up with the idea of putting on Mark’s robe, using a big fan in the garage, and walking towards it to create the effect of wind. The light source needed to be from the right hand side of the photo so that it could be used with the overall photos. I wondered if the neighbors walking by thought we’d taken leave our senses! You can see the results here- including all the stuff in the garage!
Also check out the Nike of Samothrace at the Louvre.
Today I meditate on God’s abundant wealth and glorious riches, and the fullness of His provisions for us. His gifts to us here on earth: the sunrise, the birdsong or a hug from a friend are only a small taste of what we will have in Heaven. Those gifts are given to us daily, without cost, regard to our faith, deeds or nationality.
I decided to claim that idea for the creation of this painting. I wanted to go deep into the Lord’s well when I needed resources to do this work. I knew I needed His help in finding equipment, models and technical information. I also wanted the piece itself to look rich in color.
The costumes were all created to portray a sense of abundance. The fabrics are velvets, satins, and embellished with gold threads and braids, pearls and jewels. The light in the painting behind the patient’s guardian angel, is brilliant cadmium yellow. In the color study I made it as bright as I could- straight out of the tube. I want people to know that the Lord is lavish in His generosity.
This was the final pencil sketch for “Angels in an Operating Room” before I began adding color to it to create a small, one quarter sized mock up of the composition.
Notice the grid lines which will help me enlarge the composition on the actual painting. The finished piece will be 5’x6.25′ when completed. I am estimating that it will take a year to finish. The painting will be oil on Belgian linen canvas, the finest portrait quality available, stretched tightly over a wooden frame.