Monday, September 26, 2016

Step by Step Photos of New Superboy and Snacks Acrylic Painting

photorealistic painting of a coca cola bottle and superboy comic book with mallo cup candy by artist kim testone
"Solo Adventure," acrylic on panel, 12" x 12".


I've been gradually easing into a few larger works (at least larger to me), and while most have been in the realm of commissions, this one is the beginning of a new series of pieces that are more personal.

I've always had a love for comic books and nostalgia. So when I stumbled upon an array of 50-cent vintage comic books at a local comic book convention my husband and I attended, I walked away with a stack. I didn't need them to be in pristine condition; if they were perfect, many would have been worth far more than 50 cents. But I wanted to paint them, alongside my other vintage or vintage-style items, and to me, the more beat-up, the better.

I arranged this first still life by chance, after pulling some random objects from my collection of props and trying a few things out. But this piece just seemed right, with hints of primary colors binding the three things together. And all in a vintage style. The book is from 1977 - almost 40 years old - so I can imagine a little boy (or girl! We girls like comics, too!) in the 70s picking up this issue of Superboy for the first time and settling in with his or her snacks for a fun solo adventure.

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of this piece as I painted it. I still need to work on the finish, but I'll be posting it to my Etsy store soon. Thanks for visiting!
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1. Starting to block in the drawing with a mix of payne's gray and raw umber.

2. I want this to be pretty accurate, but I know I'm going to be painting over a lot of these shapes, accidentally or on purpose, as part of my layering technique, so the darks are there but not very refined.

3. When I can, I try to work with the broadest areas of color first before I refine any details. So for this one, it was the two yellow areas - on the comic and on the mallo cup package. Two distinct shades of yellow - for the cover I used Azo yellow as the base, for the mallo cup I used Bismuth yellow (one I never used before, but I fortunately had some I'd gotten years ago).

4. For me, I find that sometimes you just have to start getting color on the piece, so it starts to come alive. If I try to refine just a small area at a time, I get bogged down by a lack of enthusiasm. So I keep looking for the places of the painting that are asking to be built up, so I'm constantly enjoying the process.

5. I've added quite a bit of the colors here, so there's at least some paint in most areas of the painting at this point. That also makes it easier for me to see the piece as a whole and figure out what needs to be changed before I start going into the details.



6. I spent many hours refining the details with layer after layer of paint. That means painting and repainting areas until they look right. I'm not a one-shot wonder like some artists are blessed to be! I labor over each brushstroke.


7. In all this piece took somewhere between 25 and 30 hours. But I think it's a leap forward for me and well worth the time. Thanks for visiting!