I even considered, for a while, doing a kind of Arcimboldo painting with him completely made of meat. But, thankfully I saw reason.
So I got me a canvas and did some scribbling and blocking in. 'Gettingt rid of the white' is almost always the first thing I do after pencilling. I usually then do an under-painting but I didn't in this instance. I kind of drew on the hoof. Oh how I wish I hadn't ... You see, an under-painting shines through your blocking in. Acrylics are only semi-opaque. Pencil doesn't show through. Almost immediately I started slapping the paint on I realised that I'd lost my drawing and had made the forearms waaaay too big. I wanted an exaggeration, yes. But this was Popeye territory.
I also realised that there was something horribly wrong with the sleeves. So, while I thought about how to fix it, I worked on the tiled background and the man's head instead.
Sometimes you've just got to be brave and make the big changes that are needed. If that means painting out a whole section with white paint and starting again - so be it. Sometimes you may need to chuck the canvas and start over. But that's a bit drastic. You can usually recover your painting and you MUST do so. You need to build on a proper foundation. On the subject of which, it was at this point that I realised that the green counter top he's leaning on was way too high; it looked like he was leaning over a wall. I'd lost my line (again) and painted the green a tile and a half too high. And his left arm and sleeve still weren't right. Out came the white paint again ...
I used Daler Rowney System 3 acrylics for these paintings but I also use Uni's fantastic range of Posca paint pens for highlights and for sketching directly onto the canvas. I used them to mark out where I was going to put all of the meat products, for example. Anyway, I lowered the desktop to elbow height and things began to look better. The underpinning structure seemed pretty much there now. It was time to start painting in the detail. Oh, and to move the hole in the cleaver, which I'd put in the wrong corner. What a numpty.
Things seemed to go swimmingly for a while. I got most of the butcher figure completed and had made a good start on the meat, having concentrated on the glazed ham centrepiece first. I put it away for the night ... and returned to it next morning with fresh eyes. And saw immediately that I'd painted the criss-cross cuts across the ham incorrectly. They should follow the contour of the ham, not go against it. Sussarussfrassasassin' white paint ...
Hey, I got there, eventually. Here's the finished painting. Replete with a couple of sprouts so I could give the picture a cheeky title.
Well, I say finished ... as Leonardo D Vinci once reputedly said, 'Art is never finished, only abandoned'. I did sell the piece. However, whenever I look at photos of it all I can see is things I want to re-do! Like the hands, for example. Both different sizes and one forefinger is HUGE. There's some oinky perspective mistakes among the bacon too. Grrr.
Oh, and as a couple of people asked, the brushes I use most commonly are Cotman or Royal Taklon brushes. For this painting I used a 5/8ths, 1/2", and size 1, 3 and 5 brushes and Posca pens.
The canvasses are cheap and cheerful ones from The Works. After all, I'm still practising and teaching myself topaint. I'll buy decent canvasses when and if I ever earn any proper money from art!
So there you go. Another one in the can. And if you're interested in how big it is, here you go: