I scoured eBay for cool objects from my childhood, and although I never owned an ironing board or iron, this kid's iron struck me as a very cool shape, reminiscent of some short surfboards. With that in mind, I decided to treat it like a surfboard, and see where this let me.
I needed a great looking wave for this iron to ride, and unable to get anything local that would work, I once again looked through the internet and found this beautiful wave. I immediately located the photographer in Australia and asked him if I could purchase the rights to paint from his photo. He gratiously gave me permission, without charge, (thank you Justin Stokes), and I proceeded to use it in my design. Justin Stokes can be seen at these two links:
I decided to flip the wave from a right to a left and plastered it to the wall. With the iron plugged in and the cord blowing in the breeze, a young boy looks up from his sand pail and shovel and catches the perfect wave being ridden by "The Ironman."
That young boy is our grandson, Parker, shown here in his backyard, posing for this painting. Our daughter, Hayley, husband, Steve, and grandma Carol worked hard to get this energetic little guy to stop for a few seconds.
For my Ironman, I asked a good friend, great golfer and avid surfer, Andrew, if he would be in my painting. We timed the sun just right on an early afternoon and shot a lot of poses for the painting.
With all the objects secured for the painting, I began with the wave.
The offshore winds in the photo provided some nice accents to the breaking wave as the spray shot into the sky.
Next I worked out the shadows cast on the wall by the soap boxes, the stack of t-shirts, the iron and the electrical wall outlet.
Here's a closer look.
In order to get more 'pop' in the image, I changed the color of the iron to red and yellow.
This photo shows the wall outlet with the plastic cover from the 1930's that I've used in a number of my paintings over the years.
I've moved on to the boxes of detergent, applying a thin coat of oil paint to the Surf box and just a sliver of the Tide box to its right.
Here's a look at the entire canvas so far.
More work on the Surf box. As some colors dry, they lighten. I'll make all the necessary adjustments to hue and value on my final coat of paint.
That is all for the soap boxes for now.
Another peek at the whole canvas.
This measuring cup has made its way into a few of my paintings. This time is serves as the perfect place to hold a beach umbrella.
Time to put Andrew onto his unique surfboard. Andrew has designed and built a garage full of surfboards over the years. Having seen a photo or two of his radical designs, prompted me to ask him to test ride my vintage iron.
Here's a real close-up of Andrew. With his head being less than an inch in height on the canvas, getting detail is very tricky. One twitch of my hand and he becomes a different person. In this photo, you can see the texture of the linen canvas. This is the highest quality, double primed linen canvas available and is used my many portrait artists, because of its very fine surface. But when you are doing a one inch portrait, the texture can become an obstacle.
Here is the full figure. Notice in the next photo that I had to correct the shadow on the wall behind Andrew. When I first painting the iron in, I didn't take into consideration Andrew's cast shadow. I worked it in at this point.
Just a few objects left to complete the halfway stage of this oil painting.
This is the first time I've used our grandson, Parker in a painting. I've used everyone in our family in a painting at some time, and this is the beginning for Parker. I am sure he will appear in future works as he grows up.
Parker and his cast shadow are completed. Take notice of the competition stripe on his t-shirt...
...I've duplicated it on the t-shirt that sits on top of the stack of laundry.
This brings me to the halfway point in this oil painting. All areas of the image have been given a thin coat of oil, trying to attain the color and darkness in the painting. When this is dry, I'll begin applying the final, thick layer of paint.
I've moved to the right side of the painting and have applied the final layer of pigment to the two soap boxes. You can see how crisp the edges are and how the graphics are highly defined.
This close-up shows some of the detail on the ends of the boxes.
The past few days have been dedicated to the measuring cup and the umbrella. Since I changed the sides of the soap boxes and the color of the ground it sits on, I had to reflect those colors in the areas of the glass cup that reflected those objects.
The small stack of clothing is completed, as well as Parker, standing on top of the pile.
Moving to the far left side of the painting, I've detailed the wall outlet and the cord and plug of the iron.
Just above the outlet, I've put the final touches on the iron.
Andrew is finished. Thanks again, my friend!
This photo shows the shadow that is cast on the wall from the boxes of detergent. Notice the subtle indications of the ripples in the forground surf area.
The same values of dark blues and greens have been applied to the cast shadows on the wall from the surfer, the iron and the wall outlet.
With just the countertop and the wave left to paint, here is an overall look at the painting.
The wave and the countertop are finished, making "Ironman" a finished oil painting!