Not that long ago, I decided to buy a book for myself on Quantum Mechanics and while reading through it I came across another book by the same Author, the Theoretical Minimum which covers a lot of fantastic concepts and explains them wonderfully to the average reader but what really struck me was the passage in the beginning of the book.
"We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed. If this intellect were also cast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tinniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes."
wow! How extremely profound! How elegant! This was a quote from the 18th century physicist Pierre-Simon-Laplace. In a brief moment inspiration struck and I knew what the next painting that I was going to be working on would be. :)
Now originally I wanted to do a painting of Charles Darwin, facing the viewer directly but when I looked up paintings of Darwin I saw that another famous painter, John Collier so I had to scrap that idea but the concept of a famous scientist looking directly at you did stick with me. Thus, I could take the same idea but with a different scientist. Thus the idea for this painting was born!
The painting itself is being done a little bit at a time in oils on a 24" by 33" canvas. Its not finished yet, but its getting close. Really close. and its looking remarkably more human and less like a cartoon which is fantastic because capturing the image of a human can be very hard to do!
With new techniques though, working lightly with each brush stroke and building in several layers the painting is getting closer and closer to being called complete. The Funnier thing is that I have already went through a good amount of my black oil paint and one set of fine detail brushes.
And so far I must have spent at least a good hundred hours or so, off and on, on this painting. I think the next project that I will start from the ground up I will time myself on just to see how long a painting in these types of technique will take me. :)
I will make another post when the painting is 100% complete. A good technique I discovered along the way is to leave the eye's empty because it allows myself as the artist to create that presence and feel to the painting early on and when the painting is nearing close to completion I fill in the eyes a little bit at a time using softer layers of white.