Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Sheltered Life

Sheltered Life, January 2015
I've been churning out paintings like there's no tomorrow, and still haven't caught up with posting them all yet. I'm not going to post them all together, because I still want to share them in sets wherever possible. Today's painting comes all on it's own...

Sheltered Life
Admittedly this isn't a new idea. I drew something similar several years ago, using biro, and it took forever to draw all the monsters!

For comparison, I'll add the original drawing at the bottom of this post

Normally I paint purely for the sake of creating something aesthetically pleasing, or to illustrate a scene. This image is different--it has meaning. It depicts a 'Sheltered Life'. The faceless subject beneath the cover of the umbrella is wrapped up against the world, in a clean but relatively barren and boring landscape. Beyond the protection of the umbrella, the monsters of reality await, unable to reach the figure inside. At first glance they appear fearsome, but on closer inspection, whilst some have savage teeth and cruel eyes, others have an expression of kindness and humour.
Such is the reality of a sheltered life: whilst the horrors are kept at bay, so too are the joys.

I originally intended for the monsters to be darker than this, and more greenish-brown than green. But the first one turned out green, so I went ahead with it. Some of the monsters lost some detail in the course of my painting over the sketch; I ended up going over the lines in pencil to make them stand out better.

This took me incredibly long to finish, compared to the other paintings I've shared here. Just sketching out the image with a pencil took an evening. I spent the next day painting in the details, and the following evening going over the lines of the monsters!
Despite all the time and energy spent on it, this isn't my best piece technically speaking, but it's good in terms of symbolism and meaning.

Medium: Watercolour on watercolour paper
Size: A5

Finally, here's my first monsters-and-umbrella image, drawn with my trusty Bic biro:

Outside Beneath, 2012
As you can see, the space beneath the umbrella is somewhat different! I didn't look at this image as a reference for the painting, merely remembered the idea and decided to try it out again.

This is painting #42 towards goal #55: Create 52 paintings in 1 year. (I haven't posted #41 yet. It goes in a set!)

See more of my paintings here.

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