Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Sooooooooo, I have been very lazy lately and have not been painting at all. Fortunately, I keep finding old sets of pictures that I was taking when I first started thinking of this blog. I forgot all about the Morrissey painting documentation from last Christmas.

I had been telling my wife that I would paint a portrait of Morrissey for her for years. I finally got around to staring it right around Christmas time of last year.

I wanted to include a song lyric, quote or whatever along with the portrait, but couldn't decide on any particular line. My wife and I sat up late one night watching tons of Morrissey videos to give us a lead. We filled a few notebook pages with ideas and finally decided on altering a line from the song Glamorous Glue. So, it's not an actual line. If you've got a problem with that, come find me and we can punch each other until it's resolved.

Here's the reference picture I used. It's from the reissue of Southpaw Grammar. I thought is was mildly obscure, and wouldn't seem too "overused" but then he used it for all of his t-shirts and stickers for his latest tour, so that idea kinda backfired.

I kinda work out the overall idea in my head, then hit the tracing paper and red pencils. (Thankfully, I am prepared this time and have an ample amount of actual tracing paper on hand. Table paper is lame.)

The start...

I should have saved myself the time and just painted this one instead.

I wanted to add a few touches that most Morrissey fans would recognize, so I decided on gladiolas and finally some boxing gloves at the bottom almost like a pendant or something fancy like that.

I hatehatehate laying out lettering. It's a surprise to most because I tend to add lettering to everything I draw for some reason. I especially hate lettering on the kind of watercolor paper I use due to the rough tooth on the paper. Someday I'll rid myself of the lettering curse, but until then, I shall suffer.

The 16 and 18 are the number of spaces I need to keep it even. Math sucks.

At this time, I'm just off camera, banging my head into the wall in frustration and self-disappointment.

Here are my final pencils.

I get a fresh piece of watercolor paper, and lightly trace the pencils onto it.

Here's a closeup.

As with the Strummer painting, I decided to only listen to Morrissey throughout this painting. No Smiths, just the Moz. Here's proof, albeit blurry.

Here are the lines.

I messed up BIG TIME on a small detail here. Further into the game, I spent many hours trying to save the painting. It was far too painful to document. I guess you truly suffer for your art sometimes.
I would explain, but it'll give away too many technical details and I don't want to turn this into a "how to" blog. Gotta keep some of the secrets...well...secret.

Around this point in painting, an extremely drunken, uninsured lout plowed his dump of a car into my mostly new, nice-ish car while it was parked. Here's just a sample of the damage.

Drunk Guy (to Cop): "put HIM in cuffs, too!" (gestures toward me)
Cop: "Why should I arrest him?"
Drunk Guy: "He cussed me out!"

I lost a bit of steam on the painting after that night, so took a few weeks off.
Here's where I picked up again.

Mostly done with the background. The portrait part is really the only "interesting" part to paint, so I saved it for last this time. Here it is with my first coat of grey.

Flower closeup. I dropped some tan. Oops.

The finished product! 16 x 20"

Closeup of the handsome devil.

Hopefully soon I'll have some NEW projects to show.