Yesterday, we went to one of the regular paint day attendees' house near Crescent. She lives on top of a hill with a good view across a lot of rolling fields, a little church in the distance, and some timber backing the property. Perhaps more unusually for southwestern Iowa, she has a small Hindu temple on her property, which unfortunately for us was still in the process of being re-shingled when we were there.
After touring around a bit, I decided I was cold and preferred to paint inside with her rather companionable Maltese. (Sadly I discovered I was unable to scratch her tummy and paint at the same time -- apparently my motor coordination is not quite as advanced as I had thought.) There were a number of floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room and dining room, but they framed views of: 1. the timber 2. a field 3. another field. Which are all pleasant, but also all things I have already painted in the last two months. SO. She also had a number of interesting objects and sculptures scattered about, so I sat down in front of a large tile wall sculpture of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, and started drawing.
For once I actually kept track of my progress -- largely because this is one of the more intensive paintings I've done of late; the drawing itself took me about two hours, and the painting another two or three.
So, first, the sculpture I was drawing from:
Here's the finished drawing. (In case anyone didn't know, the swastika was originally a very old symbol of peace and other various good things in Hinduism and Buddhism. In Japan shrines and temples are usually marked on city maps with a swastika. Its use by the Nazi Party is one of the grosser appropriations in history, I would say.)
I took a nap when I got home from paint day (our host made us some tasty spinach-cheese samosas and a rice-potato dish with raisins, cranberries, and apricots, as well as sort of lemony cheesy dessert called something like "birfee".) When I woke up I decided my painting needed some creative license, so I decided that Ganesh now exited on a red wall.
And a yellow floor. (You can also faintly see my masking in this photo. I was trying for reflective surfaces, but I didn't really succeed.)
The one annoyance about doing a Micron underdrawing is how much painting then feels like doing an elaborate coloring book page. I'm still developing this style, I guess. (These pictures were obviously taken last night. Nocturnal painting for the win! I finally moved the stand lamp over by my desk so my head doesn't block the light. :P)
Aaaand here it is with shading and the masking removed.
I put a little more color in the highlight areas so they weren't blindingly white, and voilà, the finished product! (slightly touched up in Photoshop.)
This one won't be going up for sale as a print, because I feel uncomfortable about selling a holy image from a religion not my own. Nevertheless, it was fun to paint.