I have a friend who has supported me since I first posted a painting online a few years ago. She pushed me out the door and to this day still cheers me on whenever I’m painting online. I return the favour by painting some of the characters she loves.
Like Wonder Woman. And Black Widow.
Because with friends like that, painting becomes more awesome. An artist, when creating, is often alone. Knowing that I am collaborating, having someone waiting and watching and commenting gives me direction and energy. It’s priceless.
So when my friend asked me for Black Widow, it was a no brainer to paint this phenomenal character. Plus, I’m pretty sure she could kick my ass, so appeasing my potentially violent cheerleading squad of one is a smart move.
I started with the typical black canvas. I love painting on black for portraits. It’s funny though, because once I finished the 30 Days 30 Paintings challenge, painting on white became a thing too. But at the point when I painted this one (June I think), I was all black canvas, all the time.
Painting live on Facebook means that everyone who’s following along gets to see the process. The process includes the ugly stages. This painting didn’t really have ugly (because Black Widow…duh!), but it did have unfinished stages.
I loved how working with simple tones really makes for an interesting painting. Not done but still interesting. Like a chalk drawing. I have a huge history with chalk pastels, something I don’t use any more, but when I was illustrating it was my go-to medium.
Chalk is finicky though. And it dries out the hands. But the end result is so fragile and difficult to work with that I’ve moved on. I still start every painting with chalk because I may have moved on, but I haven’t left the country! Ha ha ha.
In this painting, I struggled with bringing her skin tones to the right level. I wanted to show that she was in a dark place (just literally, not figuratively) and things were rough, at the same time that I wanted to convey her calm intensity.
Calm intensity is now a thing. Write that down.
I played with bumping up the colours but it was too much so I worked on knocking them back but keeping the brush strokes obvious.
The end result turned out really well. There’s no doubt that Natasha is not at a fancy dress ball, even if you don’t know the story. I love how the blurry background worked too. I get a lot of joy out of painting blurry things.
Acrylic on canvas
Prints available here in my shop.
So… Want to see my work in person? Want to be surrounded by nerds in all their glory? Then you need to come to London on Sunday October 18th!
More info here: http://forestcitycomicon.ca/
I’m going to have special prices on paintings, prints and more just for the event. Prints from my earlier work this year plus prints from my 30 Days 30 Paintings challenge. It’s going to be a great day!
Can’t make it to London? No problem! I’m going to be in Toronto on December 5th! You can find out more here http://comicontoronto.com/holidayshow/