September 4, 2015

“Precious?” It’s Been Called That Before, But Not By You – Day 3 Challenge Painting

Day 3 of the painting challenge was incredibly satisfying. Nothing like working on something that just comes together by itself. I started this painting in July but never finished it, knowing I would go back when I was ready. That was last night.

The composition was strong, the colours so warm. The face of Bilbo as he was caught under the spell of the ring, just delicious to paint.


I stopped at the point above in July. I could see from the get-go that this likeness was working but sometimes I’m just not in the right zone to do a painting justice. Now that I know that I can walk away from a painting and come back and still be able to finish, something I never ever did before March of this year, releases me from expectation.

Yesterday’s failed painting is one of those times. Time to walk away, give it space and come back later. And I will come back to do it justice.


I love working in the rusts and browns and naples yellow tones. So warm. So rich. While I used reds in the piece, they are subtle, worked into the yellow. Glazed onto the brown.


An important area in this piece is the hands. Since they sit in the foreground and are the focus of Bilbo’s gaze, it was critical to get them right. Hands are so interesting to draw and paint. They are boring and complicated and if you don’t get them right, people really notice.

I treat hands like faces, establishing shadows and lights before making things a lot more subtle. You can see the progression through the images. At the same time, I didn’t want too much detail in them so wrinkles, hairs etc were hinted at.



Final steps included adding in more highlights and ending up with a gold cast. Though the ring is barely visible, I wanted it to have presence in the piece.



 “Precious?” It’s Been Called That Before, But Not By You.”

24″ X 12″

Acrylic on canvas

Want prints or the original? Hop on over to my store or contact me directly. I love it when my art finds a good home.

I’m currently in the midst of a 30 Paintings, 30 Days challenge! Follow along on Facebook,Twitter, and Tumblr to see the action as it happens. Want more info? You can check out the challenge here.