Last Saturday morning I finished a new raven painting. This one was painted specifically for a friend, Tom Wintczak, and I put a little bit of Tom in the raven. I told him he’d been Raven-ized! I’ve got pictures I took of the whole process below. This painting is now available as a print and I’m in the process of making note cards, too.

The first layers of color and textured strokes and I’m basically just laying paint down at this point and waiting for something to speak to me. When I started this painting, I had not set out with any intentions and I didn’t know it would become ‘The Potter’. But after seeing the color scheme, I knew I was painting the background for Tom’s alter ego.

first layers of paint

The first layers of color and textured strokes.

I’m wondering if I’ve caught a field on fire here…

roughing in hints of tree and a wooly patch of plants

roughing in hints of a tree and a wooly patch of plants

Ah… okay that’s better. I love that little drippy thing I’ve got going on with the tree trunk. Just a suggestion of what’s there is all it needs.

Refining the tree...

Refining the tree…

So, a little FYI before I talk about the photo below… my friend Tom is a potter specializing in early American redware clay and folk art as well as functional stoneware. He attends many early American (art) shows with his redware and often takes on a persona named Thomas. During those shows, he wears the period clothing of that era. I knew that I wanted to create a raven or crow in the image of his early American Thomas. I stalked tracked him down at a local show (Kunstfest) and took some photos of him in full garb as reference for the painting.

Back to the photo below. Armed with my reference photos, I set out to sketch a distinctive raven and that’s what you see below in white pastel.

Sketching in the raven with pastel

Sketching in the raven with white pastel

Painting in the raven

Painting in the raven

adding depth and feathers

adding depth and feathers

refining feathers and whiskers

refining feathers and whiskers

Ready for the hat

Ready for the straw hat.

I fussed and fussed with that straw hat. I never dreamed it would give me such fits. That is until I started painting the vest and shadows.

Ready for the hat!

Hat in place, vest though needs more work.

repainting vest parts

Dang it, lightening and repainting.

I’m not going to let this beat me! That (directly above) is certainly shaping up better than the one above it. Below, I’m finally happy with the results of all the repainting and tweaking. Now for those eyes!

final vest

vest is there! whew.

creepy alien eyes

Take me to your leader!

Okay, all eyes start out creepy and alien-like, at least I think they do. The next photo skips a lot of what I added. Hey, in my defense it was like 1:30 am. But as you can see below, eyes are in… Straw hat refined even more, a bee has been added (see reasoning at the end), and painting on the old fashioned spectacles was the last detail painted and the final piece of information the painting needed. Off to bed I went.

Tada! Finished! Just need to sign it.

Tada! Finished! Just need to sign it.

The next morning, I was knew I was going to meet Tom and deliver my newest little raven friend. I wasn’t exactly finished though. I had forgotten to paint the sides, which I did (black) and varnish it before leaving. I covered a piece of cardboard with wax paper and hoped for the best. It was pretty much dry when I delivered it. I’m pleased to say Tom was thrilled with ‘The Potter’ and he has a wonderful, cozy new home.

So where does the bee come in? I will tell you the bee was intentional, because Tom’s studio is called Bee Tree Pottery. But back when I was painting in the background and tree, I hadn’t thought about the name, I just love to paint trees. After I was totally finished I realized the tree fit in because it stood for his studio name. What serendipity! I must’ve thought about it subconsciously.

Here’s my friend, Tom. Yes, it’s my reference photo that I took. I changed a few things here and there, Artistic License you know.

My friend Tom Wintczak

My friend Tom Wintczak

‘The Potter’ is now available as a print in many sizes, click here.

I offer prints because it’s important to me that my art is affordable and attainable to everyone. Buying a print is a great way to get started in art collecting and help your favorite artist (me!). Art is so personal, and it’s also a great way to show off your individuality in your home or office. Why buy a mass produced image from the big box stores when you can have a unique piece of art that everyone will be asking “Where did you get that?”

Economy print of 'The Potter'

Economy print of ‘The Potter’

You can see more of my art for sale in my shop, here on my website. Sign up for my newsletter and have my blog delivered to your email on the left.

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