I spent most of the night working on the environment around Dante's feet last night. It's hard to tell by the photo here because a lot of the dark tones went flat because I used very little medium on the textures. It will be easier to see once I glaze some more shadows into that area. The same can be said for the leaves to the left of Dante in the background. In another two days I should have most of the background finished so I can get back to the clothing. I'd like to see this panel finished in another week. I've been working back and forth on a commission of The Temptation of Christ so this has been a little slower than normal.
I'm at the halfway point of Canto 1. The face is finished and part of his hood. I've began working on the left side of the background last week and I'm moving into the left bottom painting a lot of trees and moss. I'm balancing both the painting of Canto 1 and a commission of my painting of The Temptation of Christ that was commissioned for a collector in Ireland. I should have both paintings finished by the end of the month.
I'm already getting ready for panel 2, which will feature Beatrice. Last week I secured a model for that painting and she will be visiting my studio next week to prepare for the next painting.
Things are going very well so far. I've been working on the painting now over a week and I have the face of Dante finished and the entire background and figure roughed in. My goal is to wrap the painting up in the next week or so. I've also had three approvals on some extraneous commissions I've been working on this week that should open up even more time for me to work on Canto 1. I'm already starting to think about Canto 2 and who will be playing Beatrice. I'll have to elaborate on that in my next post along with some ideas for a composition. Enjoy the images and videos. The response to these two videos alone last week gleaned over 32,000 views!
After months of trying to get the right models for Dante and Virgil, the proper look and feel of the costumes, and to prepare the right poses and hire numerous models for all the 40 panels, I am ready to paint the entire series. It's one thing to say you're going to do something this epic. In the last few months, I came to understand that it is an entirely different story actually doing it. I'm not just painting a group of paintings, I'm recreating a whole world, a time-period and attempting to bring out emotions in characters like they've never been depicted before. From this point, I will be painting the remaining 39 large panels in order. This is my sketch from day 1 of Canto 1.
Check out some of the studio shots and videos I posted on Instagram for the Dante's Inferno Project.
After several weeks of working with models traveling out of the area to do photo shoots for reference, I'm ready to dive into the whole series from the beginning. I was held back a few weeks ago when I found I didn't have a model to work with for the character of Dante and my model for Virgil had recently been in the hospital for foot surgery. I had considered jumping ahead to Canto 7 or Canto 9 so I could continue progress on the series but I ran into complications with some of the poses for those Cantos as well. In the end, it all worked out for the better. I now have most of the reference material I need to put together most of the compositions for each of the 40 panels. Any supplemental poses and modeling sessions I'll need over the next 3 years I'll seek out when it is necessary.
I am going to be starting on Panel 1 from Canto 1 tomorrow. Now that I am ready it only makes sense to start this journey, albiet for me an artistic one, from the beginning and follow the poem in order until the end. I'll post once I get started.
After several months of planning and painting the first panel in my series, Canto 3, is finished. The only thing I was unhappy about is that the painting took as long as it did. There were many weeks where I was trying to find the right look for the costumes, how the fabric flowed and in the end, I was able to purchase the right fabric and "look" that I wanted. I don't forsee this as being a problem going forward. Also, I was swamped two different times with commissions and the holidays played a part in distracting me away from my studio. All in all, I probably worked on the painting for 4 weeks total. I'd like to see each painting, going forward, down to 2-3 weeks each. Thanks for all the kind remarks about the first panel. I hope you'll stick around to see the other 39.
Happy New Year, everyone. Sorry, it has been so long since I posted an update. Over the last two months, I've been involved in several exhibitions, a very demanding art competition and tons of commissions that came in just before the holiday season. To make matters worse I slipped a disc in my back on Dec 30 and lost a few days of painting time until I was able to sit upright and work for long periods. Fortunately, it's now eight days later and I'm feeling almost 100% again and I'm looking forward to getting back in the gym to work out.
Check out some of the short videos I shot and posted on Instagram in the last two weeks while working on Canto 3.
In the last few weeks, I painted all of the rock formations in the foreground and gradually made my way to the distant sky and mountains. I posted some video on Instagram in mid-December when I was painting Virgil's face. I got a lot of positive feedback for that and when I posted a few videos of me painting the sky later in December. You can see some of them above. I'm really excited to finish this painting up. With my schedule opening up now you can expect me to paint one of these panels every few weeks. My goal is to do 20 this year. We'll see how things end up at the year's end.
I made the decision last week, to begin with, Canto 3. It was more of a practical choice because the model I chose for Dante would not be available to pose until mid-November, thus I chose a canto with a back pose for the main character. Choosing to start with this panel was also a symbolic choice for me as it marks the beginning of my voyage as an artist. Where this artistic journey will take me over the next 2-3 years I do not know but it will be transformative and historic. This project is unlike any epic project I've ever taken on. It has taken me months of contemplation, sketching from models, arranging compositions, consulting with Dante scholar, Professor Kleinhenz and having the guts to move forward, not knowing how this will all evolve. I appreciate all the support I've received the last few months, all the financial contributions from private collectors and the support I received from Jerry's Artarama. I could not have done this without you.
This past Thursday, November 3, 2016, I finally had the opportunity to meet with Professor Christopher Kleinhenz in person during a lecture he was giving in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Professor Kleinhenz and I have been talking via the phone and sharing information about the project since July 2016. This was the first time we met face to face and we were excited to talk in depth about the project before his lecture. Later that evening, I was able to attend his brilliant lecture, Poetry and the Visual Arts in the Medieval World: Dante's Divine Comedy. The timing could not have been better as I was already working on the composition for the first panel this weekend. Once again, I'm so grateful that Professor Kleinhenz will be working with me closely throughout the project to advise me on my compositions so that they stay true to the original intent of the poem written almost 700 years ago.
As many of you know, my Kickstarter campaign for my Inferno project has ended. Upon launching the campaign in mid August, I was immediately approached by several private collectors that wished to contribute to the project, though not publicly, on Kickstarter. It quickly became evident that Kickstarter wasn’t the best approach so I chose to just let it run its course. Thankfully, I have almost 60% of the project funded. It seems that once again, I’ve been surprised by the outpouring of encouragement and support from so many old and new collectors.Read More