by jbyron

Soooooo… new painting I want to share. Tis big. 36 X 48 inches. It all started when i was told i needed to come up with something new for an upcoming show. See, i had a painting already for this particular show, but i had shown it a couple times and the venue in question was beginning to feel like they were getting used goods. Or something. Understandably. So they asked for something new – and i’m glad they did, otherwise i just let laziness consume me and go with whatever is easiest.

So I had this idea. Not really able to explain it so much, alas, I can break down the process of execution for you lovely readers. Here goes… step 1: CONCEPT.

I know. It’s like what? But that’s how I work. I create a composite in photoshop first. Which just basically serves as a storyboard for my ideas, allowing me to move things around and change colors, etc. The text in the foreground will be done in a varnish. You’ll see a picture at the end of this post of the final piece, but it’s difficult to make out the text from the photo. And now it reads, “OBSERVE REACT REPEAT.”

Next I take the composite into illustrator where i design the stencil parts. That would be step 2:

I like the propaganda look. Shepard Fairey – style. Playing with that a bit here. I’m also obsessed with making my images look as if they’ve been aged and weathered as if on the streets. Hence the reason I like to use old posters within my paintings – gives it a sense of permanence I think. That’s probably not the right word. Moving on. Step 3: execution, background.

I think the pink area came out well. Probably my favorite part of the whole thing actually… or at least the one thing that matched what i had in my head. I aged the posters at the bottom with graffiti, wood stain, scratches and tears (either pronunciation is accurate).

Those planes were just annoying. I mean, they were simple enough. But cutting the same shape 4 times for 4 different sizes grew old quickly. Not that i’m complaining… so far so good. Oh, and you’re probably saying, “I only see 3 different sizes,” True. I add the 4th later. By the way, if the spacing looks off – it’s because it totally is – I just eyeball this stuff.

Alright. Step 4: foreground, the gorilla. The gorilla, including his hat/goggles is made up of 6 stencils – and 9 colors I think (including the variations i put within the goggles and the blue outline). I cut all the stencils by hand on poster board that i just taped together. Here’s the grey foundation and about half of the black.

I could tell at this point that i would need another plane near the right over his shoulder. I’m sure there’s a king kong subtext here somewhere.

Okay, big jump now. I didn’t document the process of making the hat and goggles apparently. When I did the blue outline, I went too far into the goggle on the right. I fixed that later (thankfully the stencils survived so i didn’t have to recut anything). I used a KRINK pen to add some detail to the black.

The only part of the painting i’m unsatisfied with is the strap hanging down. I never should have outlined it. Oh well. Also, on the final piece, i’ve put a couple dots of “light” in the absent pupils of the gorilla. Just to give him some life. I’m probably going to make those bigger before this thing is ever hung in a gallery. Also, I may go back and add a little more distress to the entire piece. Some graffiti elements here and there. I don’t know. Might have to do something to that strap too. Let it go. Let it go.

And here’s an angled shot of the final piece. Showing the final step, the varnished letters, which are more subtle than i originally intended but that’s cool… this isn’t science.

That’s it. Price available on request. Happy new years and thanks for reading.