Thursday, 22 May 2014

Painting Process: Loki's Punishment

I wanted to do a post about painting for so long. Painting is my favorite thing to do in this world. It's relaxing and at the same time it helps me to focus and helps me to forget get my anxieties and depressive thoughts.

This painting isn't particularly a happy one but it is actually on one of my biggest inspirations - world mythology (in this case Scandinavian mythology). I've always really wanted to make a painting about Loki - the original Loki, not the Marvel version - and this image has always kind of stuck in my head.

To suffer for his crimes and mischief (for more info on that, read the Edda), Loki was tied to a rock wall with the intestines of his own son, while a snake was placed above his head, dripping venom. His wife, Sigyn, held a bucket above Loki's head. However, every once in a while when the bucket was full, she had to go and empty it, allowing the venom to drip freely on Loki's face. Whenever that happened, Loki would shake so badly that the Scandinavians believed this to be the cause of earth quakes. It is said that one time Loki will shake so violently that he will break free of his bonds - the start of Ragnarok.

I've been keeping people up to date with this painting on my facebook art page Rose Red - the Art of Jopie L. K. I wanted to wait until it was finished to make a blog post about it.  The first process picture I posted was on February 26, so I've been working on this painting for three months!

Most of the pictures in this post have been made with my iphone - my apologies in advance if the colours aren't exactly right. I've tried to fix things as much as possible in Photoshop and the final result shows the actual colours.

All paintings start with a sketch. This painting was originally meant to be a study of the male torso, something I'm not really experienced with. I used a reference for it but I didn't trace anything.

As it was a torso exercise, of course I had to start with the torso. Here are some progress pictures!

Here I started on his wife Sigyn as well. As you can see I decided to make Loki a redhead - fitting for a god of mischief I think! Sigyn is wearing a traditional Viking dress and apron and a Viking hairstyle.

Here's another picture where you can see what a few subtle layers of paint do to a face! I wasn't really happy with the face in the first picture and I wanted to make it more refined and aged (but not quite as much aged!).

Water colour is a medium that requires a lot of skill. To be honest, I think it's more difficult to work with than oil paint, as you can't go over it if you did something wrong. It also dries pretty quick.
I made the snake resemble a viper (Vipera Berus) as it is, to my knowledge, the only venomous snake in Scandinavia. Of course I gave myself some artistic freedom (such as adapting the size of the snake a tiiiiny bit!), to add more drama.

I decided to make the background dark as to add more focus to the drama of the scene.

I like Viking art. I like borders. So I decided to add a Viking border, inspired by traditional Viking artwork - with my own twist on it of course.

I changed the sketch of the snake's head five times. I was never happy with it, so I finally started to paint. It turned out to be quite nice.

I finished the painting yesterday afternoon while sitting at a lunchroom terrace. One of my favorite small tricks is to order a ristretto (with extra glass of water for the paint ofcourse) and simply paint with the coffee. It gives a really nice touch of colour and atmosphere. Sometimes I only paint with coffee - it makes awesome and deliciously smelling sepia paintings!

And here is the final result! My website needs updating (working on that!), so if you want to see more of my recent paintings, visit my Facebook page.

I've already started a new painting!


1 comment:

  1. wat ontzettend gaaf ziet er heel goed uit!