For years I have heard people whining about the contemporary art scene with the phrase "but where's all the multi-figure narrative work like they used to do in the 19th century....waaaaaaaah?" Well, it's time for them to shut their cake holes because I have taken my first steps towards such a thing (not like I'm the first). A lot of people may wonder why I have not attempted anything similar before. Quite frankly, because it's hard to pull one off well and it takes a lot of planning. That's probably why you don't see a lot of people doing them. I always wished I was like Rouge from X-Men who could touch someone and adsorb all their powers; in this case art powers. I would walk up to some of my favorite artist's like Yuqi Wang, Scott Waddell, and Mian Situ and shake their hand, only to turn around and run off laughing with their skills of narrative painting.
(Sidenote, painting "random naked chick in bed reading book" does not count as narrative painting unless the story is about a woman whose cloths exploded and she decided to do some book research to figure out the enigma of why).
In this piece, there are two fisherman on the hunt for some aquatic
creatures to destroy; I don't know, maybe some baby seals or something.
It took quite a bit of time to dig up the correct articles of clothing I
needed, a boat, and a model who had a mustache so manly that Burt
Reynolds would blush.
I did quite a few thumbnails to work out the
composition. One trick for this is not to simply sit down with a
sketchbook and try to do fifty in a row. Some are done in a
sketchbook, a scrap peice of paper and even on napkins at a restaurant.
When I get an idea, I jot it down. By the time I am ready, I have no idea what happened to the first 49 I
did, but the winners are kept.
I also try to do at least 5-10 color studies. Ironically I always end up going with the one of the ones I did first, but I do a bunch more to make sure to kill time until the show "Shark Tank" comes on. I was thinking of going on "Shark Tank" and offering them the investment of 50.00 dollars and a ham sandwich for 51 % of the equity in my business.
After that, time for the full-on drawing that will be transferred for the final painting. In addition to these stages I still have to do ocean studies, boat studies, sky studies, and some portrait studies....man, narrative work sucks.