Ever wonder what goes into the making of one of my pieces of art?
Or what my super-secret techniques are?
No? Well, I'm showing you anyway.
Fig. 1 Tailfeather Trapeze is a depiction of a burlesque performer entering her act on a trapeze.
For some inspiration, I referred to Nicole Kidman's character in the movie Moulin Rouge.
First, I got my necessary reference and inspiration together, and sketched out the idea.
I then scanned the sketch and did a quick color study in Photoshop. I also laid the sketch
onto a grid to help me upsize and transfer it onto the canvas.
Fig. 2 Using my trusty red pencil and the grid system, I re-draw the figure onto the canvas.
For smaller paintings, though, I often print out the sketch actual size, and use transfer paper.
Fig. 3 I start by painting the background with acrylic. Acrylic is waterproof when it dries.
Gouache,on the other hand, is water-soluble. So my trick is, I paint the background in acrylic,
then paint the figure in gouache (sometimes I'll do basic tones in acrylic too). That way,
when I screw up something in the foreground (and I will), I can wet it, erase it, and redo it,
and not ruin what's behind it. Pretty smart, huh? Yeah, I came up with that all by myself.
When I'm dead it'll be called the Krushervision Method and I won't make a dime off it.
By the way, this is my tiny studio space in 2007 which doesn't really extend past what you see
in the photo.
Notice Delilah just chillin' up there on the shelf. I have nicer digs now.
Fig. 4 Gouache is basically a type of watercolor, so it often works best to work from light to dark.
So I paint in white highlights, which will get picked up and blended down once I add darker colors,
and then start with the skin tones.
Fig. 5 Then I paint in the colors. It looks pretty flat at first, but as I work, I add darker values
and build highlights as well until it looks right. Or right-ish. My attention span is only so long, after all.
Fig. 6 Once all the paint is down, the last step is to outline the figure in black. In this case, I used
Kurosumi tattoo ink. It's deep black, and if you load it up on a brush, you can pull a line for days.
A very tiny amount goes a very long way. After that dries, the acrylic, gouache, and ink all have different
levels of gloss, so I hit the whole thing with Krylon satin-finish clearcoat to even it all out and protect it.
My theory is that it also very briefly re-wets the gouache, and helps it blend a little when it dries, because
my paintings all look way cooler after I clearcoat them.
Fig. 7 Then the painting is exhibited in a gallery show and sells for lots of money.