Wednesday night the Memphis Grizzlies played their last regular season game. The game went to overtime but the Grizz pulled it out, clenching a 7th seed spot in the playoffs. That's right, PLAYOFFS baby!! The Grizzlies games are always fun to go to but the playoff games are especially fun. The house is packed, there's all this fanfare hooplah, and people are just really jacked up with excitement. I mean, c'mon, everybody likes a winning team. It's intense!
Last year I took a lot of pictures at one of the playoff games with the intent of doing a painting. I almost always work from my own photographs when doing a painting. Here's how I roll...
Take a jillion pictures.
On this particular day I took 36 pictures of the FedExForum. I tried to get the building from different angles, close up, and far away. At the time I didn't know exactly how I wanted the painting to be so I tried to give myself lots of options.
I looked through all the pictures and picked the one I felt offered the best opportunities composition-wise. It helps to have lots of pictures to reference throughout the painting, but at the beginning when I'm drawing the main composition, I generally refer to just one.
Leave stuff out.
I never try to make my painting look exactly like the photograph. After all, it IS a painting so I figure I'm allowed, if not expected, to take a few artistic liberties. I ixnay wires, garbage cans, scraggly plants... Sometimes I leave gutters off of buildings or paint flowers where there are none. Sometimes I just leave out certain things because they are too small to paint or because they just feel too distracting/junky. That's the trick I suppose. You have to be choosy with the details, but still have enough to make it look real.
In this particular painting, some of the things I left out were extras that normally aren't a part of regular season games anyway, like the bounce house.
Get to work!
Honestly the hardest part about this painting was all the people. It was really tedious work and difficult at times to position them in such a way that was both realistic and artistically pleasing. Eventually it came together. I can't tell you what a relief it was to paint that last little dot of a person. It was like placing the last piece in a 1,000 piece puzzle.
Feel free to play "Spot 10 Differences" with these next two images.
Here's the finished painting.
We'll be watching the Grizz take on the No. 2 seeded Oklahoma City Thunder on TV Saturday night. Then Sunday we've got big plans for church and Easter egg hunting.
Hope your weekend plans are SUPER too. Happy Easter!