Updated: May 8, 2021
29.12.2020: Nomen est omen: The title of this great song by the 'Black Pumas' should also be the motto for my next portrait of singer Eric Burton. The 'Black Pumas' are another musical discovery of this year for me. In order to do justice to the motto, I would like to realise the painting in strong colours, trying to build on the technical achievements of the last project.
Format: 120/100 cm portrait format, background raw jute, primed with gesso black.
Although I want to create a colourful painting, I try to let the contrast between green and red play out. I therefore start working with these two colours already in the first layer. On a wet surface I apply a salmon red for the background and a cold blue-green for the figure with a broad brush. I let the paint run a little, but after a while I lay the painting flat to dry so that the colours do not completely flow into each other.
As with the last portrait of Ry Cuming, I want to achieve as multi-layered a colour structure as possible by using different techniques for the individual layers. In a second work step I lay down a layer of spray in different colours with spontaneous, quick strokes, quite a tangle of lines but I believe that this basis can be built on tomorrow.
30.12.2020: How to continue with this jumble of colours? That is the question this morning. I decide to keep the background in light yellow-green, but to calm the colour structure somewhat by spreading a light yellow-green over the spray marks with the paint roller. However, I take care not to completely cover the spray marks. Parallel to the background, I also apply a dark wine red with the paint roller on the figure, especially on the singer's jacket. In the afternoon, I switch to the brush and begin the finishing touches. In signal red and a darker orange, I try to turn the jacket into a bright red velvet jacket. With the exception of the buttons and the dark areas, I manage to complete this almost by the evening.
31.12.2020: Today I work all day on the musician's face, glasses and left hand. First, however, I accentuate the darkest parts of the figure with a dark green or pure Prussian blue. Almost at the end of the day, I dare to work on the shiny buttons of the jacket. They are the brightest parts of the painting and I want them to really shine golden (at least the ones that are right in the line of sight). I'm using a mixture of lemon yellow with a little white and I think it fits. In the new year, I am now left with the musician's right hand and the guitar. The rest will be small corrections and maybe some spontaneous accents...
01./02.01.2021: Yesterday and today I spent the day with detail work, correcting mistakes here and there and struggling with the guitar at the end. Today at noon I decide to paint over this area again and start from scratch. Now it's finished, but it seems too detailed and too much of a scene. Actually, I wanted to paint another spontaneous painting like the portrait of Ry X, but I definitely didn't succeed with this one. I'm going to close for today and leave it open whether I'll dare to make another radical intervention tomorrow to give the work a slightly extraordinary touch. All in all, I am not yet convinced by the portrait...
08.01.2021: Throughout the week I have been looking for the reason why the painting has not been able to convince me so far and with which intervention it could perhaps still be saved. In the meantime I know what bothers me: I have painted the essential parts of the face, the hands, the red jacket, the background and especially the guitar all separately and partly even on different days. Although I think that the individual parts are not bad in themselves, they have no relation to each other. The picture falls apart completely. I won't be able to solve this problem with small corrections. I finally decide to rework all areas of the painting generously with further layers of colour, to include these colours in the figure and, as in my last work, to try to create a connection between the isolated elements by means of line drawings. Today, I begin with a first pass in old pink. Above all, I switch the background from a wild, bright green to a calmer pink. However, I am careful not to completely cover the spontaneously drawn spray lines and leave some as an abstract structural element for the background. At the moment I don't know if I should add a light blue tone to my spectrum in the next step or if I should stick to my colour concept with red and green tones. I will decide spontaneously tomorrow...
09.01.2021: I'm not pursuing yesterday's idea with the blue tones any further today. I'm sticking with the contrast of red and green. After a pink day yesterday, I'll finish with another green day today: along the figure I'll change the colour from old pink back to a fresh green to make the figure stand out a bit. I also accentuate the hat, the trousers, the glasses and even the red jacket with dark green to give the green in the picture a little more weight. Finally, I think about whether I should add a gloss light to the glasses. In the end, however, I decide against it. I think that besides the stars on this painting, the eight shiny golden buttons of the jacket, there is no need for another pop element.