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Music When the Lights Go Out

10.02.2023: Also for my next painting I would like to continue working with the primary colors. As a template I choose a legendary photograph by photographer Roger Sargent of the two front musicians of the Libertines, Carl Barât and Pete Doherty. I am a big fan of the Libertines and especially the second album 'The Libertines' with this shot as cover photo belongs to my absolute favorite albums. I've wanted to put this motif into an own painting for a long time and it seems to me that it could be suitable for an experiment with primary colors.

For the painting I build a large stretcher in landscape format of 160/110 cm and cover it with white primed smooth linen.

For once, I do not use a black and white image as a template, but the original color image. The bright frontal light of the flash leads to very light skin tones and strong contrasts between the light and shadowy parts of the photo. Overall, this results in a very broad color palette. Let's see how this color variety can be realized exclusively with the three primary colors...

From the three primary colors I first mix the darkest possible tone, a dark gray, and with this I mark the dark areas of the motif with a broad brush. Next I bring color into the painting, which I apply with color spray in different colors. On the one hand I want to animate the picture with the spray marks and further the places of the picture with a spray layer should take up the following planned liquid color layer less. On other paintings this has already worked and led to interesting color games. The exact result of such operations, however, can never be predicted exactly but it is precisely such random elements which, from my point of view, enrich a painting very much - if they succeed...

11.02.2023: Today I work on wet ground with a wide brush and complement the quite wild and garish spray traces with intermediate tones. Everything must go very quickly so that the wet surface does not dry. I also leave some things to chance in this work step. I want the paint to run a bit and have such a very different texture as the underlying spray markers. However, it is only possible to a limited extent to control how the paint runs into each other as it dries. Tensely, I therefore look again and again while the painting dries...

12.03.2023: After I have recently had strong doubts about whether something can still be made out of the painting, I have started to work on it further in the last few days. I do not want to give it up yet. I'm still limiting myself to the primary colors, but I'm trying to bring more differentiated hues into the painting. In the meantime, I have decided to bring Prussian blue into play in one of the next work steps to increase the contrast a bit more.

19.03.2023: IIn the last few days, I'm working on the details, brightening the skin tones a bit, correcting rough mistakes, and finally, as planned, adding mixed tones with Prussian blue to the painting to heighten the contrasts.

24.03.2023: With a few hours of detail work I am able to complete the painting today. With pure white in some places in the faces I emphasize the glaring frontal light, which is so characteristic for this shot and I set the highlight in Carl Barât's left eye. This point is central in this motif, because it catches the viewer's eye.

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