PaintBlog: Project Telephone Girl, Part Three

Another entry, the next day? What do I think this is, 2004 or something?

Anyway, yesterday’s work left me somewhat unsatisfied. I’m not exactly sure why, it just seems as if this image isn’t my image. Granted, my images tend to look like autopsy photos, but that’s beside the point.

So I was really feeling as if I should knock more of this painting out, to try at least to see why the project was grating on me. It may be that it was feeling like an assignment, rather than a painting; I felt I should be trying to take more ownership. To that end, I decided to work on the face. This was a sure-fire way of forcing the issue. How is that? I hear asked.

Simple. The human face is the acid-test of any human-centric work, at least as far as I’m concerned. It’s the single thing which will either allow the work to go forward, or allow it to go forward into the closet while I work on something else and, with luck, forget about the first canvas. The reason for this is that a face is a recognizable landmark (er…) for everyone; we all know what a face looks like, we look at one in the mirror every morning. So success or failure is easy for anyone to assess.

And there’s a stage in painting a face where success or failure is right on the cusp. For example:


I look at the image above and here is what I think: Damn. Not only does that not look like Telephone Girl, it doesn’t even look human. Who told you that you could paint? It certainly wasn’t me. You should give up now, or end up looking like a fool. You have no talent or ability for this; I hear they’re hiring at Burger World.

It’s at this point where one either sees the potential, or sees that there is no future. The decision to be made is to give up, or to grit one’s teeth and move forward. Since I’d have to clean the brush anyway, I decided I might as well try some more. I thought perhaps adding another color might help, otherwise it’s just sketching and we’re really not moving into the structure.


Dude, I am sooo wasted right now. Believe it or not, I count this as an improvement (thought not much of one). At least depth is starting to appear. The paint has been made smooth across the surface (you have no idea how much trouble little bumps can be when they dry). Time to flesh out the rest of the face, to try and build the structure if nothing else. Still on the cusp.


Above: David Bowie is The Terminator…only on Pay-Per-View.


I think the above is a bit of a step back, though she looks less bored or pissed off. Still, we can’t leave it looking like this. The mouth is very weak, here, much weaker than before–though more filled in. Maybe not filled in enough is the problem. What next? Let’s fill some more in. How about trying to build more structure and shadow? At least, let’s blot out the red on the facial area.


All your base are belong to us.

I think this is starting to show some good modeling of the flesh. As a bonus, I like the fact that it looks like gold–like a gold mask, in fact. Not sure how that came about (I was mostly using white, sienna and umber), but all art (or at least all my art) is a collaboration between me, the idea, and the materials. So the gold was the paint’s contribution.

Let’s pull back and see where we are in a greater context:


I’m starting to feel more like this is my project. I still don’t have any real ideas other than (at the moment) building it up, but I can feel other ideas stirring.

More modeling, particularly on the neck:


Finally, for tonight, let’s see if we can complete the area surrounding the neck.

It still looks like a mask–which I like–but I think it’s definitely shaping into something. What, I don’t yet know. But I’m feeling better about the project as a whole. That may change if I do any work tomorrow; I may ruin the whole thing. But at least the ability to ruin something implies that there’s something there to ruin. That’s progress of a sort.

That’s it for today’s episode. As an aside, I’m glad these are proving valuable to folks out there; it’s definitely a spur to creativity to know that I’m not just playing air keyboard. (This time.)

4 thoughts on “PaintBlog: Project Telephone Girl, Part Three

  1. That is a bloody scary picture. She looks like a ghost! 🙂

    Hi, Beckoning Chasm – people who haven’t switched yet can comment on any blog. It’s people who have switched who can’t comment on blogs that belong to people who are still in ordinary blogger. I wouldn’t be able to comment on your blog using my old blogger name and password. I had to click on the ‘other’ or ‘anonymous’. So, if you only allowed people with a registered blogger account to post comments I wouldn’t have been able to, because technically I’m registered with Blogger beta now, not Blogger.

    Does that make sense? 🙂

  2. Welcome to yor new home!!
    I’m sorry about blogger turning into the Borg. That was totally my fault.
    ALSO, your painting is coming along wonderfully though I agree with ghostrose, it’s a bit ghostlike. but she would know best, being a ghost and all.

  3. Pingback: Twenty Sided ? Blog Archive » An Island Where No One Lives

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