New Jazz Inspired Paintings

About two weeks ago, I decided to do two new paintings inspired by Jazz. Here's a look.

Take 5 - 22"x28", oil on canvas

They are both painted in oil, and both of famous jazz musicians, but that's about the only thing they have in common. The first painting titled "Take 5", is based off of photo I found online of the Dave Brubek Quartet, playing a set in North Carolina in 1966. I originally painted this in black and white only, and then used a blue glaze to give it that classic Blue Note feel. Here's a peek at it before the glaze...

The second painting is a portrait of John Coltrane. 

Coltrane - 30"x40", oil and acrylic on canvas

This was very much experimental for me. I chose to use a flat red ground, which I painted in acrylic, and used that red as a substitute for black. Needless to say, this kind of messes with your brain! Especially when the 50% grey, that I chose as the darkest color in the painting, is actually darker than what would really be the darkest color... black. It was almost like half painting normally, and half of the time thinking in terms of a photo negative. I also wanted to experiment with painting much more loosely and "painterly". This painting has lots of scumbling, a little pallet knife, and very distinct brushstrokes. The technique is much different than the smoother toned Take 5 painting. I also noticed, to my surprise, that the Coltrane painting looks a lot more interesting when hanging on the wall. The red tends to trick your eye into thinking it's actually black, especially at a distance. Maybe the human eye knows it's "supposed" to be black, and switches the colors unintentionally? I'm not sure, it's pretty interesting though. I'll definitely put that in the memory banks for another time.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy them. I'll be trying to get higher resolution images up in the painting section soon.