Sacred and Profane: painting in progress

I am in the early stages of a painting that is intended to ask you, the viewer, to quietly reflect upon whether you consider a nude statue or a bobblehead dog to be sacred or profane.

I am envisioning the final painting to be fairly ethereal (no heavy, dramatic philosophy here). I will discuss my thoughts concerning the subject when the painting is complete. For now, I’d like to share my painting process to this point with you.

stage 1 of the painting process

stage 1 of the painting process


I started by setting up the still life in my studio and created a simple line drawing. The drawing was transfered to a gessoed wood panel with charcoal and then solidified with ink.

The painting you see above is the underpainting. For the objects, the underpainting was done in grisaille, while the background’s underpainting includes the four main colors for the painting (the colors are so light that it’s hard to pick up with a camera). During the underpainting I am mainly concerned with getting a foundation of paint down. You can think of it like a tinted primer used before painting a wall. Upon it values can be refined and each successive layer produces a more even finish.

For this painting, I did not create a traditional color sketch. Instead, I painted some color swatches on a scrap piece of canvas (shown below). The second row of four pastel colors are my main color scheme (the three cool colors harmonize, while the warm color is a punch of contrast). Below the main colors are their darker versions for shadow areas.

color swatches

color swatches


The next time you check back to watch the painting’s progress, the still life will be transforming into full color.

What do you think?

I appreciate your thoughts and constructive criticisms.

2 Responses to Sacred and Profane: painting in progress

  1. kent lau says:

    i’m looking forward to seeing more of your progress!

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