So over a year ago I painted a Christmas present for my mum. Despite how painful the process was, I was inspired to continue, and decided to paint something for my dad (for balance).
The subject of the first piece was David Bowie, who sadly – and ominously – passed away 2 weeks after I finished the painting. Not wanting to tempt fate again, I opted to pick someone who was already well and truly dead – my dad’s hero, Bruce Lee.
In any case this process was even more painful than the last. I started painting early in 2016, and things quickly went awry: the proportions were wrong, the colours were flat and monochromatic. It looked terrible, and I dropped it completely for a solid year. In February of this year I resumed efforts, and decided to largely paint over it. I threw a further 20 hours into the project in the space of a week and finally finished it off.
So below, the final article:
And here is a progress gif:
Maybe next time I’ll wait less than a year before painting again!
My mum used to be a massive David Bowie fan, and for her Christmas I decided to paint her a portrait of Bowie – although sadly not from real life. I didn’t want to be too obvious and paint him with his Ziggy face, so I found a great photograph of him from his blonde years, which I can’t for the life of me find now – I printed off a copy and used that for reference.
I grabbed an acrylic board and bought a whole new set of acrylic paints – given the last time I’d used my old set was 10 years ago, they’d all dried up. I also didn’t really know what I was doing so I set out by sketching some outlines, blocking in some shadows and colours, despairing quite a lot, then refining, refining, refining, until I just couldn’t stand to work on it any longer.
Anyway painting below. I actually think it turned out alright.
I also included a gif of various stages of the painting below. You can see how bad my foundations were, so I think I did well to actually save the painting. The turning point was when I fixed the eyes, and it finally stopped looking like a serial killer wearing David Bowie’s face.
Anyway I may try to paint again because it was incredibly rewarding – not least because my mum loved it – but I do have to admit it was a pretty stressful and painful process.
It didn’t quite turn out how I wanted it to – I had this idea of Corbyn and Cameron hosting a “This Morning”, easy-viewing morning style show. As Corbyn reads a tricky question from the audience, Cameron cuts him off and outros to the rest of the scheduled programming.
Not a hugely strong idea which is why it remained a sketch and not a higher-effort drawing.