In the last year, it has been far and few in between that I've been able to do a personal project. To a certain extent, I feel lucky I can say that because of so much commissioned work but creatively, its been a downer.
My dreams are bigger than I have time for sometimes. I was planning on doing a few portraits of fashion designers. I actually said something like '10'. I got one done. I might continue the series but at the very least, feel pretty good doing this one.
I wanted to do this series for a number of reasons one being, portraits. Portraits are not something I am entirely comfortable doing and its a rare moment that I get assigned to do them. I'd like to get more of that work and challenge myself. I also have a growing interest in fashion and Alexander McQueen is a standout. I am not a 'fashion buff' but I was floored when I saw the exhibition at The Met. I saw the show three times.
I am slowly beginning to appreciate it and occasionally I get decked out even if to just go out to dinner. At heart, I am a t-shirt and jeans person. I've always been but trying to change that a bit.
I've found that I've gotten into a habit of going back to some old tricks when I do jobs and it's gotten somewhat boring. I wanted to play with composition and juxtaposition of elements in this piece. I used some new media here also - the entire background is gold leaf. I've discovered gold leaf is not incredibly easy to paint on or work with. Photographing this painting was also a chore. Scanning this sort of thing is impossible and lighting the painting to not have glares or hot spots is an art in and of itself.
I thought the gold leaf would be a nice touch with McQueen, as well as the skull. One of my memories of The Met exhibit was his use of gold and silver...really, metal and his choices of color seemed to surround these warmer tones.
There was many hills to climb to get the piece done but I am very happy with the final. I am back onto other projects for now but I still keeping the portraits in the back of my mind.
I also took a photo with the glare completely covering the piece. This itself was actually kind of difficult. This is a GIF I quickly made to show the difference if there was an all-over glare. You can really see the gold leaf in a 'silvery way' but it totally drops out the rest of the piece.