My most current work is an oil painting of a sax player. Although I don’t play a musical instrument, musicians are among my favorite subject matter. I think it’s because I love to draw and paint curved lines and can make good use of the curved lines found in or exaggerated in the figures as well as the instruments.
After creating a pencil sketch with no particular size canvas in mind, I decided to use a larger canvas (24 x 30) in which the sax player would take up only about 1/4 and I placed him in the lower left corner rather than just off-center which is a popular practice. I did this to emphasize the importance of the music itself with less emphasis on the player.
I began painting what is to be the darkest part of the background first with Alizarin crimson. Although it is applied somewhat thin, I think I like the purity of the color and will try to enhance the texture and keep the canvas from showing through without building the color to the point where it turns too dark. The yellow is the beginning of the background that actually is made up of the “music” coming out of the sax. My intention was to have the music painted in pastels, and the gold was meant as an underpainting just to get me started, but now that I’ve seen it with the alizarin, my path may change. It usually does.