Painting: Step by Step!!!(Pt 1)
This is for Arthur C Clarke's "Space Odyssey" Quadrilogy-a frontispiece for the books, a special edition out next year. The only problem was there was no time!! I had about 10 days... I had to sum up the books in one long doublespread painting, so this was the thumbnail I came up with. The format is a given so I wanted to keep major elements out of the center where the gutter would be for the book. I wanted to include The Monolith, Jupiter, three of it's moons, and the surface of our moon and, an astronaut looking at the monolith and cosmic stuff starting to happen...this was about 2x4 inches.
This is the final drawing. Because of time, I worked right on the canvas. In this case it's stretched canvas. I'd also considered working in acrylics as I only had six days to make this painting come together and do a separate portrait of Clarke himself. I changed the angle of the monolith to make it like a door, with "My God it's full of stars" action going on. It'll be 18x24. Something I would normally work bigger with, I just don't have the time. That said, it becomes a good challenge then to meet a deadline and, in the business world, that's most important.
After roughly, an hour, the painting looks like this. I smoosh in paint that basically forms the underpainting which the rest of the colors sit on.I use Ultramarine Blue and Paine's Grey and Burnt Siena for "space" black. I also use the medium of Galkyd which is a drying agent that speeds up working in oils. I also use a bit of Drying Linseed Oil. Very little turpentine mainly because I hate the smell or even using the non-odor stuff. When I use it, I use Gamsol which is a formative substitute. I also use large-sized brushes only!!
After about 3 hours, it looks like this. I started detailing Jupiter, using photos from Galileo/NASA. Originally, I was going to put the earth on the horizon but felt it messed up the composition and became too distracting. I generally dislike "montage" illustrations so I had to do elements from the books but was more concerned with getting the central theme across without being too cliched and kind of disjointed. I was hoping to the stars that the painting would be what I wanted.
Check back next time for how I finish it up in Part 2.