The original weft I started on was too thick, and I realized I needed a thinner weft, so I purchased one. Then I got distracted by the idea of doing other paintings on the thinner hair, and I neglected my Starry Night project in favor of trying out The Scream, by Edvard Munch and La Reve, by Picasso. And they actually came out...pretty okay. And it was surprisingly fun to do; I started to really enjoy myself once I worked out a few kinks.
I wanted to keep going, but got sidetracked by other stuff happening for a little bit. When the Fine Art series went viral, there were more than a few commenters who responded to poorly worded headlines on the subject with statements like, "I thought I was going to see actual artwork on the hair" or "These are just the colors from the paintings, not the ACTUAL paintings" (yeah, no duh, but I'm not the one who wrote the headlines suggesting otherwise, am I?). I wanted to point out that I was actually working on exactly what they were complaining about, but figured I ought to do a few more before I put them out. Plus, who cares about what gripey commenters want? I also wasn't sure how well they'd turn out, and didn't want to promise something I couldn't deliver.
So I continued playing around with the idea, discovering that it was a bit trickier than I originally thought. I spent a lot of time looking through art books and thinking about what sorts of things I like to paint, trying to decide what would be the most fun and interesting to do.
*Side note: I don't think my own original art is terribly interesting to anyone but me, and my best skill set lies in realism/photorealism - which basically means I'm good at copying things. So that's why I felt like it was more fun and interesting to reproduce other artists' stuff. My own art is mostly for me or people I'm very close to. No, I don't do commissions. No, I don't sell my own art. If you get art from me, it's because it burst out of my brain specifically for you and I wanted you to have it. Which is also why I don't have a thriving career as an artist.
When I mentioned to a friend that I was considering a Kandinsky reproduction, he thought I was being too ambitious. So then of course I HAD to do it. Then he suggested that I do a Rothko, since he was a fan, and so I encouraged him to pick one out for me to do. And then it just kind of kept moving forward. So now I have completed several, and am working on a couple more, and have ideas for a few more that I haven't started yet. I think I'll work on them till I get bored.
I honestly haven't painted this much in years, and it feels good to be productive, even if it's on a silly project like this one. I've also learned a lot about each artist and their style in the process of doing the paintings, and that has been a cool and unexpected side effect; I feel more appreciative of their work and process now.. Some of the pieces I tried to copy as closely as possible, some I took some creative liberties with. For instance, it wasn't practical for me to place all the red dots on the Lichtenstein(?) as close together as they are in the original, as the red dye would have likely bled all over the damn place and it would have looked sloppy. And I started "Starry Night" from memory, as I've painted it numerous times, and so the composition is off a bit, although I ultimately corrected a lot of it. Some of the pieces I did a very basic sketch or outline and then worked from that, but for a couple, like the Kandinsky, I did my own full reproduction first and then used that to work from.
I used actual hair color; mostly direct dyes but I did use permanent colors a few times for specific effects. I used multiple lines, including Manic Panic, Kenra, Joico, Redken, Rusk, Pravana, Ion, Adore, and Arctic Fox. I typically watered them down a little, and then applied them to blonde hair with a paintbrush. That's it. That's my process.
In this case, I thought I was working on a Lichtenstein, but my research has not yielded whether or not this was actually one of his pieces. Regardless, I finished it anyway and liked the outcome. Does anyone know the original source for this? If so, you might mention it in the comments and post a link to your source, please and thank you.
I am not much of a Mark Rothko fan, per se, although I respect what he did for non-representational art and I can appreciate his attempt at painting emotional states in a non-literal fashion. One of my good friends, however, IS a fan, and requested that I do this one on some hair (Blue and Gray, 1961). It was actually kind of fun trying to get that silvery gray color - it took me about 3 tries with demi-permanent color to get the tone where I wanted it - and I like that this has almost an editorial feel to it. So, thank you friend-who-wishes-not-to-be-named! This was still challenging and interesting to do, which of course I always enjoy.
Ok, so this one is obviously The Scream, by Edvard Munch. This is the first one that I tried to complete, although I didn't have much of a technique down for precision just yet.
I kept reworking it and reworking it, struggling to portray the details without completely filling the whole damn thing in with black and orange. Which proved to be difficult.
At this stage, I was almost just ready to chuck this piece and start completely over on another piece of hair. I just felt like I could do it better, especially since I had been working on other pieces in the meantime and had figured out better ways to paint sharper lines.
UGH. This damn thing. This one was really hard. But I love Van Gogh - LOVE HIM - so I had to do it.
Second, I will probably also get other photos; this one was the first one I put in hair, and I honestly had no idea where to start or what to do with it - I was just sort of winging it. I've since straightened out and cleaned up that bottom edge, now I just have to...I dunno. Something. So. We will call this one a work in Progress.
This is Picasso's "La Reve". I chose it both for the colors and the easily identifiable style. I am still deciding what hair it will look best on, but it is completed for the most part. The upper left sketch was what I worked from on this one; I pulled it up on my computer monitor to get the color scheme down. I ultimately ended up adding more black lines than the original painting has because I had a tough time getting the edges of the shapes to show clearly against each other. So...another work in progress.
Also, thank you to my models - Shelby, Katie, and Tessa. They are all existing clients of mine, and generously donated their time and hair for this project simply to indulge me, and also because they are awesome friends. I'd have no career to speak of without them!