Saturday, February 15, 2020

King Piye Behind the Scenes

1. Kushite pharoah Piye (or Piankhi) traveled north from Nubia to conquer and unite the kings of the Nile, published National Geographic Magazine in November, 1990.

2. Setting up a miniature tableau with clay figures, toothpicks, foam board.

3. I record light and shadow arrangement using white and black charcoal.

4. Mirror studies on tone paper of Piankhy.

5. Quick gesture studies from live models of bowing figures.

6. Refine the scene with charcoal on vellum for archaeologist Tim Kendall's approval.

7. Beginning to block in the palm trees in the distance.

    A reader on Instagram asks: "When do you know you are happy with your underdrawing before you start painting.?I either keep making changes perpetually on the drawing, or get impatient and leave things out and start painting, adding elements as I go."

    Answer: "I probably did 25 different preliminary sketches, most that I didn't show. Didn't spend more than a few hours on each sketch. Each one solves a different problem. Deadline keeps process moving forward."
This process is covered in greater detail in Step by Step Graphics Magazine, Volume 6 #7


Stephen and Nyree said...

I love seeing the process and effort you take to get the painting right.

HansPeter said...

Hello James,

I'm curious as to how you feel about this painting nowadays?
I think it's pretty common, especially for younger artists who don't have as much experience yet to grow to dislike their paintings fairly quickly, simply given how massively one can advance during those initial 5-10 years of dedicated effort of learning all the fundamentals of art.

So I am curious as for your views on a painting that by now is 30 years old but is in it's essence not a bad painting the same way that for many of us paintings just 5 or 10 years ago probably are. I mean your advancement since then is pretty clear to see when compared to your later work, but this is still a painting that on a fundamental level works pretty well, and one i'm sure many people would be very pleased with. Is it the same type of "Oh god how could I have made all these mistakes?! Let's just quickly close this file again"-type of feeling? Or how would you describe your thoughts on it?

Thank you in advance, and also just thank you for all these fantastic posts here. :)