Friday, August 5, 2011

Last Embrace

by Eric Fortune

Here are some of the last work in progress shots leading up to the final.  When starting a new piece of art we try to work out most of our problems in the preliminary stages.  However,  after taking reference, finalizing our drawings and adding some paint in things do change.  I'm constantly stepping back and reevaluating the work as I go.

One thing that bothered me after I had got pretty far into the painting is that my eyes kept sliding off the left side of the piece.  I think this was because of some strong directional elements, the arrow shape the legs make with the knees pointing left, and the opening on the left side of the figure.  After having some time to rest my eyes it seems that the line work in the original sketch is probably what helped to keep my eyes from drifting off so much.  Because my line work in the final is much less apparent it didn't have the same effect.

While consumed by a work of art being objective can be difficult. Yet it's needed to solve problems that arise.  We look at the work in the mirror, on screen, upside down etc.  Sometimes we send it to peers for some feedback.  Eventually, I pulled this piece into photoshop and tried a few things that seemed to keep my eyes from sliding of the page.  I started by darkening the area of the background behind where the figures knees are.  I wanted to have the effect of a warm spot light so instead of just using black I used a warmer reddish gray which darkens and adds some chroma at the same time.  I added in an extra branch on the left and extended a more obscured branch on the far left of the paper up and out as well.  Hopefully, this will help to keep the viewers eyes more contained within the piece.

If you'd like to see the original, this piece and one other of mine will be at the Jonathan LeVine Summer Invitational Show opening next Wednesday.


  1. Thanks for sharing the process. a really valuable thing for me on how you deal from the idea to sketch and to the final piece.


  2. This picture is a really great piece of art!!!
    Seriously I would like to have the original on my big is it and what did you used to painted it (watercolors)??

  3. Anon- For as long as I've been doing art sometimes I feel like I'm completely stumped. It's also helpful for me to think about my own process and to analyze my thoughts on why and how I deal with issues that come up in my art. In hindsight they usually seem like rather simple solutions. At the time however, is a different story.

    Hane- this piece is 22x30" acrylic on 300lb hotpress Arches watercolor paper.

  4. Eric, have a great opening and show. Great piece again!


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