In The Beginning…

…there was The Sketch.

magi sketch

I was looking for a picture of something yesterday (now I can’t even remember what) and I found these — a shot of one of my paintings while it was still just a sketch on the wood, and some hand reference I shot. I’d hoped to find an early version of this painting because the background was originally quite different (the manger was more substantial), and I was able to figure out I wanted to change it *before* I started painting, thank gawd.

Nearly all the hands in my my paintings are either mine or Marcos’. (They’re handy. They’re what’s at hand. Sometimes he lends me a hand! Oh I could go on but then you’d hate me. And I couldn’t HANDle it! Ok, stopping now.) I love to paint hands, they’re beautiful, expressive and challenging. Hands, foldy fabric, and fur. Those are my current short list of Things I Love To Paint.

magi hand

I try to remember to take off my rings and wotnot before I start shooting but I usually forget. Photographing against a piece of black felt helps me see the general “shape” of the hands really quickly so when I’m looking at the teensy pics on my camera’s screen I know if I’ve “got it” or need to keep trying.

magihand (marcos)

Here Marcos is holding Diaper Dog. Someone gave us Diaper Dog a long time ago and we used to practice diapering on him. (Why would we do something so weird? Because we were about to have to diaper a real baby in real life, didn’t have a clue, and it seemed about the right size. And it didn’t complain.) So now Diaper Dog stands in when I need a baby-sized thing for photo reference. I do realize a real baby looks nothing like this. (They’re *much* furrier.)

magi hand 3

Paint brushes tend to stand in for nearly everything — flowers, tools, etc, and in this case a vampire’s bat-embossed baby rattle.

P.S.  Michael oh-so-wisely pointed out it might be nice if I put the finished piece in here too, so here ’tis:

finished painting

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4 responses to “In The Beginning…

  1. very awesome artwork u have! i just checked your site and i was very appealed with what i saw, i invite u 2 view my paintings at my blog 1mendtorr.blogspot.com which im sure youll dig, the only problem is that everything written is in spanish but at my space myspace.com/2mendtorr its in english , i look forward 2 z your new works, so take care

  2. thanks for sharing, isabel – it’s great to see the sketch for the painting that you used for the banner! can you post a link to the full painting of the finished manger scene?

    xm

  3. Smart, Michael, thanks. Done!

    And thanks Ricardo, I wish my Spanish were better. Or existed at all.

  4. for some reason, i crack up every time i see the creature from the black lagoon’s expression in this painting.

    xm

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