Here’s an oil painting of my assassin dad (note to FBI, he’s not actually an assassin). This painting took much longer than it should have. I finished it earlier this year (it was an assignment from one of my first oil painting classes a year or so ago). I basically used this painting over the course of a year or so to teach myself how to paint. By the time I was almost done with this painting I was taking an alla prima painting class and it was extremely hard to continue painting in this hyper-polished painting style (this was the kind of painting style I had to resist to complete this painting). A little bit of the alla prima painterly brushstrokes are visible in his facial hair. This painting went through a lot of major transformations during its creation. I don’t think I took many photos of this painting in progress but I’ll see what I can dig up. It was really hard to get my father to make a serious face for the reference photos. The painting looks a lot better in person because it doesn’t have those annoying glares that the scanner picks up.
On a related note this is one of the first paintings I did on my own hand primed surface. I used hardboard (it’s not called Masonite you buffoons!) that I purchased from Lowe’s. I believe it’s 3/16″ hardboard. My father and I cut the hardboard on his table saw. I sanded and gessoed (not using traditional gesso, but rather an acrylic emulsion) the hardboard myself. I applied the “gesso” with a foam brush. That was a terrible mistake (or maybe the gesso I was using was bad). Somehow little bits of hard gesso would catch on the foam brush and drag into the gesso application, leaving random vertical and horizontal indents. If I redid this painting I’d make sure to get an even surface on the board before painting (and I’d re-cut the board using a band saw).