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I wanted to try and paint my son playing with the playstation when visiting my daughters house they had been messing around and this caught my eye.



First thoughts were to quickly jot in my sketchbook, trying to realise the possibilities, where the light would fall, what if I elongated the picture like a panoramic photo, what would this do to the angles, where would the light fall from the TV is lamp on or off.

Before we left I then I took a few reference photos .


I also had to go back and as my son in law to sit in the same position as my sons dark clothes were difficult to make out the body position.


Some more considerations…..how would the light from the TV effect the image…..It is often portrayed as a bluish  light….but maybe I was getting a little sidetracked here.

I knew that one of my reference shots wasn’t adequate at this point and this is when I went back for another.

The hands holding the controls would be tricky…I knew this…and they would not be very large to get detail….but maybe I wasn’t going for detail this time.

I  had wanted after the last painting, to try and introduce an different kind of background. It struck me that my figure would be  lost in the fantasy gaming world and to mimic this I chose to line the paper with old marvel comic strip images.  Before I did the larger picture I tried this out in my sketchbook with a small sketch in oil paint.

I liked the effect the sketch had, and tried very hard to find comics or old graphic novels in local charity shops.  Unfortunately I had no luck and had to print off some from the net. This sketch also made me think about the pallet I should use……should I stick with natural and let the bright comic colours show through or go for comic colours too.  Deciding on the first option as I felt too much bold colour would lose the image completely.


Roughly blocking in the scene and realising that oils don’t sit so well on printed office paper!img_1840


At this stage I am now wondering how much more to do.  I normally go for a lot more detail, but I am quite liking the shabby atmosphere of this and if I add too much more will I lose the point of having the pictures underneath.  Im going to let it dry then crop it and make a decision then.img_1841-copy2

Whilst it was drying a bit I took the picture into photoshop to try and see if a blue glaze would look daft, following on from looking at how tv light is pictured on the net.  Not really conclusive and as I had painted this as a daytime scene I decided against trying it.




Cropped the picture down but still not quite content.






Went back to the window as felt it needed attention but not quite got the blinds at the right angle on the left window.  I do feel however that adding the blue into the window area has balanced the painting better.  The face got a little more attention.  Stopping now as in danger of over fiddle.

What I learnt with this one.

The comic ground proved more of a challenge than I had anticipated, as the white lines between drawings could easily distract me and perhaps I should think about how this is placed on the paper beforehand.

Surfaces do matter for oils, the printer paper was not easy to paint over.

Using photo references is a tricky business, more careful planning in advance would ensure I got all the right angles.

I do enjoy the process of thinking through an idea almost more that the execution of it at the moment. The finished piece never quite matches what is in my head.  I am putting that down to lack of practice and experience at the moment.