Here’s something a little different than my usual stuff. First, it’s an acrylic painting, and if you’ve been watching my blog for long, you know I don’t paint too often. Also, this is a different sort of subject for me. I wanted to try something sort of industrial, sort of vintage…and just a touch Steampunk. So this is what I came up with.
Up in my studio, I have a collection of metal scraps and pieces of junk which I’ve accumulated over time for sculpture and mixed media projects. One of my very favorite pieces in that collection is a part of a faucet that looks just like a man with pipe legs and faucet handle arms. That is a great item, and while I haven’t decided what to sculpt with it yet, I thought it would be a fun challenge to try and capture it on canvas. The metallic finish was a really interesting challenge as it reflects the colors around it so much. The top/front half of the faucet part (the part that would stick out of the wall) is a shiny chrome color, but it is a bit grimy and tired from its years of setting in a shed.
Acrylics are traditionally matte in finish and since this is such a metallic piece, I used metallic acrylics to make this painting shine. The background consists of a number of layers. Originally, it was black with some red thrown in, but I didn’t especially care for that. So I threw on a quick splash of metallic gold and loved it, so it’s mostly a gold background with touches of black and sort of a rust red peeking through here and there. I also used some alternative methods. I was inspired by a great artist who calls himself Zorgor. You can check out his wonderful and cheerful blog here. He does some very interesting things with paint, and I thought it might be fun to try something different too. So for the flecks of black, mustard yellow, gold and silver, I diluted the paint and spattered it on the background to give it a greasy, oily, sort of roughed up look. Then I took a couple of found objects and covered them generously with paint and pressed them to the canvas to leave unique marks (you can see a round shape in the upper right side of the canvas which was made by pressing a round necklace pendant to the canvas). I also coated a chain with black paint and dragged it over the canvas in one or two places. It was interesting to get a couple of unique textures in this painting.
The faucet man himself was painted mostly with brights and flats paintbrushes. Once I had painted this piece, I knew I’d need to add something for a head. What better than to take some found objects and attach them for some dimension? The light bulb head was actually a plastic earring in the shape of a Christmas light bulb. I sawed the earring in half so there would be a flat side to attach to the painting. I glued it on with acrylic gel, and then I painted the light bulb and spattered it some so it didn’t stick out too much from the painting. Finally, I decided my faucet man should have a nose, so I looked through my collection of junk and found this piece that was part of a clip-on earring once. I bent it with pliers so it would rest easily over the curved light bulb and glued that into place with gel too. As you may imagine, this piece was tremendous fun and a good way to think outside the box for a change!
– 6 x 8 inch canvas board
– Acrylic paints applied with flats and brights brushes, some fan brushes for the threads of the pipe, and found objects dipped in paint for some of the background
– Plastic Christmas light earring for the head, and a metal part of a clip-on earring for the nose
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my Faucet Man. Thanks for looking!