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Giraffe Totem

GiraffeTotemThe latest in my Totem series, this giraffe was a lot of fun to work on.  Well, not the whole time.  Mostly at the end, if I’m being honest.

The reason this one was a little different is that I recorded much of the process.  While I’ve done that a number of times before, the previous videos were done with screen capture software which runs in the background and you don’t really have to pay attention to it.  There’s always a fair bit of editing work after the fact, but that doesn’t affect the painting itself.  With the current video, it’s a mix of screen capture and footage from my GoPro on a tripod, which was sitting just off my left shoulder while I worked.  I’ve often shown the software, Photoshop CC in this case, but wanted to show the hardware this time as well, since the Wacom Cintiq 24HD is such a great display.  What this meant was that I couldn’t shift position and had to constantly be aware that this camera was there.  The lighting was also different than what I’m used to working with.   This changed how I felt about the painting process, but I really wanted to record this video, so sacrifices had to be made.  I’ll be editing it this week and hopefully the footage I got was worth the effort.  As always, photos are only used for reference in my paintings.  It’s all brush work.

RecordingIn a perfect world (hey, it could happen!), my painting sessions involve a hot cup of coffee, music in my headphones and a darkened room with no distractions, allowing me to get lost in the work.  With having to think about the camera all the time, I could never quite get all the way into it until I neared the end.  That’s when I forgot to recharge the GoPro for that session and the battery was dead.  Rather than ruin a perfect Saturday morning painting session by waiting, I decided to just do screen capture for the end of the painting and I had a blast!

GiraffeBlogCloseupI know I say this whenever I finish a painting, but this is one of my favorites.  I just love the expression on his (or her, your call) face.  Anybody who has followed my work on these critters for any length of time knows that I don’t take all the credit for the personality.  It just seems to show up and the funny thing is, it showed up twice while painting this one.  I thought it did a couple of days ago, it was the same great moment that always happens, but then there was another moment in the final hours of painting when something just popped and it seemed to come even more alive.  It was a bonus.

Prints will likely be available for the Giraffe Totem in the next month after I’ve done my proofing and I can’t wait to see them.