Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mini-Paint: Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka

I had planned on doing a Mini-Paint of Willy Wonka in the near future.  Hearing about the passing of Gene Wilder moved that up (I and probably every other person who can hold a pencil or paintbrush).  There was something deliriously crazed--yet compelling--about "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" which stuck with me as a youngster.

Mildly amusing anecdote: my youngest daughter had a job working at a local candy factory when she was younger.  She also owned a cloth coat which was purplish in color which she wore through the winter.  I'm sure you can guess the rest, but it involves me chanting "Oompa Loompa Doompety Doo..." every time she left for work.  She got tired of it in a hurry; I did not.  :-)

To this day, I am likely to break out with "You get nothing!  You lose!  Good day, sir!", as well as numerous other quotes from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".  And chant "Oopa Loompa Doompety Doo..." of course.

I bought some new M. Graham acrylic paints I was testing out, so I used more colors than my usual limited palette for these Mini-Paints:  Titanium White, Zinc White, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red Deep, Terra Rosa, Cadmium Yellow, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber,  Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Anthraquinone Blue, Dioxazine Purple, and Paynes Gray.

This was done over the course of about 8 hours.  Yeah, this one took a LOT longer than my usual Min-Paints, too.  Partly 'cuz I was playing around with new paints, partly because I wanted to work on it a little more and try to get it right.  Skills only grow through being challenged, I guess.

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STEP ONE:  I started with a 6" x 8" piece of hardboard coated with a mixture of gray gesso and matte medium.  The first 90 minutes or so was spent just roughing everything out with a #10 flat brush, laying in the colors and general layout.  Although, at this point, it looks more like Michael Caine dressed as Willy Wonka than Gene Wilder's titular role...

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STEP TWO:  This was about 3 hours later, using a #10 flat and #10 round brushes.  Closer to Gene Wilder, but there was something about the placement of the left-eye which seemed a little off.  It's one of those things where being an 1/8" off in any direction can ruin the portrait. 

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STEP THREE:  I decided to repaint the the left eye, moving it down and a little to the left.  From there, I spent several hours painting and repainting, trying to get it right.  After painting this for about 8 hours off-and-on over a couple days, I figured I had taken it about as far as I could and called it "Good 'nuff".

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This was done with acrylic paint on 6" x 8" gessoed hardboard.


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