Anatomy of a painting- Pretty Polly

Wednesday, July 08, 2009 12:15:06 PM

Hi,

I thought I'd show you the process of how I do my bluegrass paintings. First let me say there is nothing more difficult than painting for me- it is not easy. This painful process starts with the lyrics and an idea and slowly progresses to a finished work.

I've been working on Pretty Polly for a week now and it seems like a year. I deliberate over every tree, every plant, every blade of grass. Here's the main scene:


Pretty Polly is murder ballad. The scene takes place in a valley after Willie has "led her over mountains to the valley below." Polly is begging in vain for her life. Willie is standing over her with a knife. The spade (shovel) is pointing toward her. The far background is roughed in- it took forever. The open grave is behind them. As you can see the figures aren't complete nor is the foreground where grass and forest plants grow in the shade of a giant oak tree.

What is interesting is the shovel. It looks real and I haven't even painted it- I just painted around it!


In the foreground is grass and leafy ground cover that grows in the shade. I got some plants from under a tree and set them in cup of water. This is going to take a loooong time. There's a large foreground area, whew! I've made the plants larger near the viewer to add prespective, it's hard to make it look real- I'm struggling.


The banjo player is playing and singing Pretty Polly. The singer actually is based on B.F. Shelton. He's a ghostly figure emerging from the tree trunk. Crazy I know! The main difficulty was drawing the tree bark- it was hard. I've got to finish the background trees (sketched in) on the left behind the giant tree. Nothing is easy...

 

Copyright 2006 MattesonArt.com

Comments

Comments are closed on this post.

Site Map | Printable View | © 2008 - 2017 Your Company | Powered by mojoPortal | XHTML 1.0 | CSS | Design by styleshout