Work in Progress: South Wall of the Dome. Prophets Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha and Micah

On December 2, 2014, I got the new canvas hung. The previous prophets got all rolled up, and I began the next journey of painting 4 more prophets for the dome. The first thing that happened was I looked at all the drawings, and I realized that the last two prophets were essentially identical in poses and in features. My plan was to have Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and Micah on the wall, in that order. Nope. I decided there needed to be some space between Micah and Isaiah, as well as between Isaiah and Elisha, because they have essentially the same colours. What  a calamity!

My good friends Mark, Moira and John Stoll came over, helped me to roll up the other canvas, and hang the new one. Then the work began in earnest to get the prophets done.

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Wednesday, December 3, I redrew Elisha. If you look back to previous galleries, he looked like a massive sumo wrestler. Now, He is much slimmed down, although from here to the final transfer, I shrunk his head a little. Then I worked on transferring all the drawings. Here, Isaiah is already transferred; you can see that there is some pigments of the backs of the drawings. Tracing over the drawings with a ball point pen makes it easier to see which lines you have gone over, and the pigment on the back acts like transfer paper.

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A fast paced action shot of me doing exactly that.

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Once I have reinforced the drawings with India ink or another waterproof ink, I cover the whole canvas with yellow ochre.

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The canvas covered completely.

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The next thing I did was work out the spaces for the green and the brown, and masked out the edges so that the edges for the gold would be crisp.

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First layers of brown, loose and free. I try to put the colors on rather freely, so that the underlying layers have life. The colours are never absolutely solid. I tried to match the brown from the previous mix, and that is why you see some of it in the above photo. I used what was left for Elijah’s mantle.

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This is where the colours stood when I started painting again on Sunday night. I had managed to get some green in, the blues in, and I also managed to get the browns done.

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How the prophets stood at 2 AM on Tuesday morning. Everyone has two layers of colour on their clothing, except Micah for his green, and the clavi need to painted for the everyone except Elijah. If God wills, they will be all done–at least their clothing–tomorrow night. It is the last day I have to paint before I have to travel. I won’t be able to paint these fellows for a month; then I have to paint 4 more prophets, Jesus, 4 seraphim, and a lot of lettering. These fellows are easy by comparison. In my original plan, it was going to be Jesus first, then the prophets. I am glad I decided to do it this way: I have learned so much about the medium of acrylic from doing this work in this order. (December 9, 2014)

 

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