Three Sour Notes

Hot on the heels of the other two works I’ve discussed before (“Worlds Apart” and “Rusty Against the World“), I’m going to share yet another piece that I will be displaying at the Anthrocon 2012 art show. This piece is titled “Three Sour Notes”.

Three Sour Notes

"Three Sour Notes", Gouache and ink on Aquabord, 10x14 in.

I’m proud of this particular piece and believe me, painting this work wasn’t easy. The source of inspiration for this work was from a publicity still of the Three Stooges. At least a few stills were done, showing Moe Howard literally getting an earful of sound from the musical instrument of a fellow stooge. To be honest, I’ve pictured Rusty Duncan, Ragnar Eftirmatur and Olaf Eftirmatur as being a lot like the Three Stooges when they’re together. Thus the idea for this painting was born.

The Malady Lingers On

"The Malady Lingers On", pencil on 8.5x11 in. paper

As with most of my paintings, I had to work up a sketch to get an idea down. Based on those stills I mentioned earlier, I came up with this. Unlike “Rusty Against the World”, a color study here was not necessary. I was only going to use three colors in my image: yellow, purple, and black. So I went right ahead to the painting.

Normally, when I paint, I use paper. I tend to dilute paints with lots of water and use them much like watercolor. However, for this work, I tried something different: Aquabord! Aquabord is a special type of wooden panel made by Ampersand. Normally, watercolor or heavily diluted water-based paints would make an ordinary board warp. But Aquabord is a specially designed surface that won’t warp when using watercolor or other diluted paints.

Three Sour Notes in progress

I sketched lightly the three characters onto the Aquabord in pencil. Once that was done, I used a special frisket to cover Ragnar, Rusty, and Olaf. Some out there use bottles of frisket from the art supply stores. I use a cheaper yet equally effective alternative: rubber cement. Once the frisket was dry, I mixed up a batch of diluted purple gouache paint, titled my Aquabord upwards, and put down a wash of paint. Later, after the paint completely dried, I removed the frisket and the three characters were left completely untouched by the purple paint!

For painting with gouache, I normally use Holbein brand gouache, which is from Japan. Anyway, I mixed up some more diluted paint, this time yellow and after the frisket had been completely removed, I painted in yellow areas (as shown in the above photo). After the yellow was completely dry, I worked in the black ink using a sable brush and a Speedball A5 nib.

Note the powerful effect of the yellow and purple paint. There’s a good reason why this combination is so powerful. Yellow and purple are considered opposite colors or “complementary” colors. When juxtaposed, the two produce a potent effect to one’s senses. That’ll be sure to get attention at Anthrocon.

Prints of this are available on DeviantArt.

I hope you enjoyed this look into my painting, Three Sour Notes. Don’t forget to subscribe via RSS feed or email if you haven’t already. Any questions or comments? Do any of you readers paint too?

Again, this will be displayed for sale at the Anthrocon 2012 art show, so be sure to bid on it then!

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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  1. Pingback: En route to Anthrocon 2012 | Sunnyville Stories

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