Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why finish something when you can just start something else?

So I had one last canvas to defile. One last wrapped piece of potential. How could I have overlooked it all this time? I am nothing if not thorough in my painterly destruction! A new Maquette girl must enter this world!

Besides, I was royally fouling up the other paintings. Fresh start!

This is Mi Magnolia, known as "Maggie" because of her stupid name. ("Who's that?" "Oh, that's Mi." "You wish!") In Audde, the capital of my fictional territory Ardille, there is a clear division between the classes. The higher ups get to dance around in the architectural wankery that is a city built over a mountain valley. Not in. Over. It's pure showing off! The Ardillian elite also have a hard-on for pompous names that seem to come from lame fantasy stories. (Getting into meta humor here.) They can (mostly) pull it off, but those lower-class people always seen the need to imitate their superiors and they are not always as successful. Mi Magnolia sounds catchy and looks pretty on the page, but it's more of a bad movie title than a name.

So Maggie is class struggle personified. Her ticket into the upper class is to work as a personal trainer in the senate's gym, where she can charm powerful men who can't help but fantasize about a younger woman. (She's not that young, at 36, but is technically younger!) There's no doubt she has aspirations of breaking into the upper class, but questions surround her in regards to how far she will go. Does she genuinely like the people she chats with, or is she winning them over in a more salacious way? Does she want power for herself, or is there something more malicious behind her. She keeps writing in that notebook when she thinks no one is watching - is she a spy?

On the painting front, I had initially dismissed doing a Maggie piece because I wasn't sure I could capture enough of her. Where was I going to find an Asian woman who is fit, sort of blockheaded, with bangs and a ponytail? That seems a lot to ask for in a random Google search. It's not like I could think of a well-known actress who would fit the - hold on.... BAI LING! Her cartoonish features and hair are a perfect base for a painting! Maggie as I picture her would look like Bai Ling, if Bai was a bit more compact and someone took a belt-sander to her. How did I not make this connection before today?

On the painting itself, I'm still in the process of figuring out the exact placement of features, but all of my first drafts have those flaws. (As well as many finals!) I was tempted to put her other hand in the picture holding a pen, as if she's jotting down a note and looking around to see if anyone spots her, but that would be hard so fuck it. Instead I'm positioning her left arm to imply she's looking back as she walks out of a room to check her notes.

On to the other paintings! Dania has been driving me nuts. She's really close to coming together, but I am flailing about to get the final touch in that will cement it all.

There are two big changes here. First, I've given her a new dress. I decided to hit Google to see if I could find a dress similar to the one I had her wearing in my writing. One jumped out at me, as it was draping horribly on the mannequin and looking awkward. I am all about that! Of course, in adding that dress I was reminded why I chose to ignore the "ruffles" part of the dress description before. Blech.

The other change is the possible addition of the clipboard. On one hand, it activates more of the space in the painting. On the other hand, I'm not sure I could stylize a clipboard and make it look right. Thus, I panic and run away! Every time I work on Dania, so much white paint is lost!

The white paint thing is also causing me to screw up Moreh. When one has to mix colors, one cannot make enough for just a few brush strokes - yet I keep micromixing and running out with Moreh with my irrational need to ration. This means each new step needs me to mix the color just right or it looks terrible. Epic fail with that so far.

Her outfit is also causing problems. She appears too large on the canvas for me to show the table on which her hands are resting. This means my skill as a painter must somehow make the arm positions look correct. I'm fucked! Best I could do for now was to underpaint a block of green which seems in no way connected to either arm. Yay! The teacup is crap too, but that's because I haven't really focused on it yet.

See, this is why people love me. I'm so fucking positive about things!

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