Thursday, January 27, 2011

A painting in progress

Sometimes I'm asked how I paint bubble wrap, so this is an example of how it's done. This painting, Portrait of Deborah, is a reinterpretation of an earlier portrait of my partner Deborah Klein. The outlines of the face from the earlier portrait are traced onto a new canvas and roughly blocked out with colours. Next I rule up lines in pencil to correspond to the spaces between the bubble wrap circles, then I trace around a metal washer the same size as the circles in the bubble wrap. I place the tape where I want. The ruled circles cover the face in the same position as the circles of the real bubble wrap sit over the face of the earlier portrait. At this stage its planned out in ghost form, with the colours inside and around the circles thinly brushed in. Finally I repaint each circle at a time and when I've covered the canvas I let it dry. If needed, I make adjustments by perhaps darkening an area or adding highlights in strategic places. Every circle in the bubble wrap is like an invented small abstract painting simply because it's visually too complicated to follow.

Portrait of Deborah, 2009, oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm