Technique-wise, this piece was done in a way I’ve worked on and off for a while. I did the ink first, then put down a wash. On this one the wash is browns – I think mostly sepia and ochre. Then I paint on top of the wash, with a fair amount of opaque colors. The most opaque is usually the white – which covers more like liquid paper. I often do corrections using the opaque colors, but you can still see some of what’s underneath, so the effect is that of a palimpsest. (Palimpsest is a great word that’s a bit jargony/academic. Click the link for a more in-depth explanation, but it’s basically a Greek word for a stone tablet that was written on then erased, but some of the earlier marks show through.) In this painting, for example, on the upper right side just inside the border, you can see a black line that was part of the border, but now it’s mostly covered over – nearly erased, but you can still see it. I like these remnants/artifacts.
I do a lot of faces and hands. This tendency somewhat inspired by the Austrian artist Egon Schiele, who tended to pull hands into portraits, this one for example. I aspire for my work to be as accomplished as Schiele’s.
One tiny random odd thing to mention about this one is that I signed it JRL instead of a full signature. I am not sure exactly why. Maybe, due to the composition, the full signature didn’t fit that well. I usually sign only JRL at the bottom of small sketches at the bottom of letters.