June 18, 2014

Porco Rosso – A Commission

The last of a 3 part commission, I was asked to paint Porco Rosso. This is a film I hadn’t seen since it was made in 1992, but again I am familiar with the style of the art. There’s a lovely sense of both whimsy and reality in anime or manga that appeals to a lot of people. I love the beautiful backgrounds that are typically used.

One of the things I find very interesting is most people’s aversion to blank canvas. A white page essentially. I don’t have that aversion and though the first image is a white stage, I see it as potential. There’s so much that can happen there and I’m always excited to see what is really on the canvas. I love canvas so much I have a rather hefty collection of it. I could probably open my own art supply store.

As usual, I start with palette knives and the background. Skies are so appealing to me, clouds so tricky to paint, that I didn’t pause to worry about the clouds but rather I just painted and hoped for the best. Worry Just detracts from painting. Having said that, there’s another painting I recently finished that had me fearful of wrecking it. But nothing ventured, nothing gained and I went ahead (holding my breath) and painted anyway.

Once the background and big parts are painted, I switch over to brushes going from medium (about 1/4″) to very small (1/16″). I prefer flat brushes though I will switch to the tiniest pointed brush for final details. My style is currently changing and I layer a lot more, play with colour subtleties more and generally spend more time on each painting. I was watching a series on youtube, called Forger’s Master-class, and I think it is coming through in my work. Basically it’s a different group of artists from different walks of life trying to forge a famous artist’s style. What got me was how personal style became. Not dry, history book art but living, frustrating, satisfying art. Suddenly I felt a connection to all the artists I loved before in whole new ways. Monet, a personal favourite, really came to life for me. And all that is coming through in my work now – not consciously but it’s there.









Look at the tiny brush now! At this point I could see the painting was missing detail. Not just shadow or whatever, but it wasn’t coming together and so I made the decision to add an outline to each character and the planes. I think it gave the piece that missing impact and defined everything perfectly.







If you have a favourite fandom, a beautiful landscape or anything else you want painted, let’s talk! I’m nice, my prices are reasonable and affordable since I’m an emerging artist, and you get to see the painting as it’s made. How cool is that?