November 5, 2015

I Wish I Couldn’t Feel A Damn Thing – The Reboot


sm_20150902_202245-1Back in my 30 days 30 paintings challenge, day 2 held a temporary failure. You can see the whole post here but the end result wasn’t working and I knew it was best to set the piece aside and revisit it later.

The composition was off. The colours weren’t working. There was a whole lot not quite right with the painting. And I really, really wanted it to work.

But failure is never the end in art. As I transitioned through the whole 30 days process, I was keeping an eye out for a better solution to this painting and scene.

And I found it.

You’ve probably noticed that I prefer to paint in one of two sizes. Both sizes give a decent sized painting without being impossible to hang on a wall. One of them, the 12″x24″ canvas, forces compositional choices that make painting exciting for me. More challenging.

This is the canvas I chose to use when revisiting and improving “I Wish I Couldn’t Feel A Damn Thing”.


For the initial progress shots, I chose not to show the whole canvas. I liked the tighter cut but the reality is, the composition wasn’t working until the background had weight. I could see it in my head but I knew it wouldn’t look good to my audience.

And sometimes it’s about the audience. This is such a moving moment in Supernatural. A classic that any fan would instantly recognize. I wanted even the progress pics to look good.


I’m really playing with colour now. Bright oranges and magentas. Purples and blues. I’m going to need to go and stock up more colours as my style morphs.

You’ll notice that I chose a slightly different moment in the scene. The one in the original painting just wasn’t flowing enough so I went back and picked a few new ones and then reduced that pile down to one. There’s a lot of pre-painting work that goes on before I ever get to the canvas.


When leaving a crap ton of white on the go, it’s important to model shapes extra carefully. You can see that the face shape of Dean isn’t quite working yet. He looks… fat. But that’s because layers of colour are missing.


I decided to give the background some weight. My reference actually had it as white but I find that with this style of painting, white doesn’t work. I want the colours to pop. Now the above paintings are mostly the same aside from background. The colour differences are just because I take these shots with my phone.


At this point the painting became very fiddly. Very, very fiddly.  I worked in colours in dry brush and many layers. Lightened some up. Just generally added and removed for about a half hour until I got to the end.

And what an ending I got! It was so worth failing the previous version just to get to this point.


IWishICouldntFeelADamnThing“I Wish I Couldn’t Feel A Damn Thing”


Acrylic on stretched canvas



Want to see this in person? You can! Next week in London. Head on over to my events page for more details.