November 17, 2015

Doomsday – The Dyptych


I recently painted Ten as part of a dyptych. You can read more about that painting here. I knew I had to paint the other half but last week was all about the art show and this week is finally about painting. Painting ALL THE THINGS!

If you haven’t heard of a dyptych before (can also be spelled diptych), it’s basically two paintings in a series. They go together. Much like Rose and Ten. Let’s pause to feel all the feels right now.

Ok. So the goal here was to carry on the feeling of having them in the same room but apart. And the room had to be different enough because they aren’t in the same room.


I started with the usual drawing. Enjoyed the momentary high of workable fix sprayed in a closed room. Aaaaah. I’m kidding, I opened the door to speed up the air exchange. But workable fix? I will forever associate with the thrill I get when starting a painting. It’s like sportsing, for those that sports, where you are ready to sports and get into place just before everything starts.

Like the few seconds before I pick up weights in the morning when I’m olympic lifting. Especially the mornings when the weights increase. If I screw it up, I can really hurt myself.  Worse still, if I don’t get it right, I won’t be able to get the bar above my head. It takes focus. Amazingly, to me anyway, starting a painting is very much like that.


I picked up a teal from Currys the last time I was there. TEAL. Teal is all kinds of awesome and I love not mixing my own colours. It’s so bright and blue and green and…and…ah, clearly I need to spray less workable fix when I’m painting, LOL.

The thing is, painting with bright colours and in a series like this means that it’s better to paint with premixed colours. I can and do and have mixed all my own palettes. The joy of art school means you learn to paint with four (red, blue, yellow and white) but the joy of being a professional means I don’t have to. Bite me, art school! HA.


One of the things I enjoy most, is taking a painting from blurry and out of focus to refining it. It’s also the most terrifying, because I could find that the two hours I’ve spent were wasted and that would only be obvious at the end. It’s a risk, but feeling alive and ploughing through in spite of everything is so much more interesting than the alternative.


It took a while for this painting to pull together but enough was happening that I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Staying focused is the key.


Red is such a bitch to work with. Seriously. So damn translucent it might as well be transparent. I hate it. But it’s also rather crucial. So layering is important and mixing it with other colours adds some opacity to it.


In this case, I mixed red with some burnt sienna. A very reddish brown. It added in the dark I was looking for. I also added in the black layer which the painting so desperately needed.


Then it was a matter of refining. Adding in the white to clean up the the spaces. Making the hair less lumpy. Brightening up. And then swinging around with more orange red. Lots of little details that make all the difference.

sm_20151116_215949-1 “Doomsday 2”


Acrylic on stretched canvas

Prints available HERE in my shop.




The colours are more accurate in the image above. Taking photos on my phone in a space that has yellow lighting isn’t the greatest but it’s better than the alternative of nothing.

Don’t forget December 5th in Toronto!I’ve got a Han Solo in the queue, another SPN painting and then I’m onto a series from The Force Awakens. And whatever else I can fit in between now and Dec 3.  Check out my events page for more info!