This painting was done wet in wet, on a scrap of polyester canvas that already had a failed portrait image. A palette of acrylic washes was prepared, and the brush went from one to the other so that the colours were mixed on the brush. One brush was used, attached to a long stick to give less control and more wobble in the lines and shapes. It was also painted upside down to disturb the clichés of face painting and bring a more random and irregular look.
While it is called a portrait it was in no way meant to be recognizable as anyone in particular, as I wanted to play with the properties of the face by extending and abstracting the features. It is meant to be a new person or humanoid even, an aberration of the human face which brings its own unique qualities, as faces are very interesting to us humans.
In painting over an existing image I was interested in how the paint would lie on this new medium of polyester, so was planning to throw the image away as it was just an experiment. The idea was to be fast, loose and totally uninhibited, so the red colour on the forehead for example was a mistake, it was meant to be pale pink, but strangely it seemed to fit well once done.
The face is derived from a digital sketch completed on a tablet last year. It has taken time to develop the painting techniques that suit replicating digital brush marks and colours, especially on a larger scale on canvas. This is the first successful paint sketch portrait completed, an image based on face studies of my partner Con, and one of a series of portraits done over the last two years, them being either representational or failed paintings.