The Child Bride

It’s hard to be subtle.

For some people it’s harder than for others.  If you’ve read or looked at my blog long enough, it probably goes without saying that I am one of those people for whom it is harder.

I like contrast.  I like color.  I like my coffee black and biting.  I like death by chocolate.  I like action and some sort of drama.  I like puns.  It doesn’t get much less subtle than that.

But every now and then, the ability to employ delicacy and a light touch seems very appealing.  To work in a restrained color scheme… To describe modulated emotions through understated action… this is a skill worth working at.  So I undertook a picture using primarily a few shades and tints of a single gray hue.

This is me being subtle:

How did I do?

The picture was inspired by a photograph by my beloved Diane Arbus.  It was listed as “The Flower Girl”.

The misty and mysterious mood of the picture was captivating, but I wanted to take it in a different direction.  The Rabbit King (from the previous post) needed a companion piece.  So I just started copying the Arbus photo into my sketchbook in pencil.  Somewhere along the way, a snippet of twisted narrative entered into the mix, and this is the painting that it became.

We’ll leave it at that for now… just let the subtle beauty of it kind of “seep” in.

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This entry was published on September 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm. It’s filed under Animals, Figures, Watercolors and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “The Child Bride

  1. Pingback: The Next Move « Gabriel Garbow | Artworks

  2. You kind of get lulled into a false sense of serenity with this one as you scroll down, and then arrive at the head that serenity is shattered. Yes, you’ve captured contrast very well with this one, Gabriel!

    • I’m so glad someone picked up my tongue-in-cheek jab at myself for being utterly incapable of subtlety. The scrolling, in this case, really enhances the experience of the piece as compared to seeing whole image at once. Glad you liked it. Going into this painting, I was really nervous about getting the blood right, but it ended up pretty good, with a certain kind of ‘cinematic realness’.

  3. I really enjoyed this one. I LOVE the subtle gray scenes in the background, which could be mistaken for imperfections (stains, even) on an old canvas if not for a closer look. I didn’t even notice the dropped bouquet at first, which looks fresh as the groom’s blood.

    • I’m really glad to hear you liked the bouquet. I was quite pleased with it myself, but it’s basically the definition of a throw-away prop. You’re right about the subtlety of the background. It’s slightly less “stainy” in reality, but it would have been nice if it had looked more deliberate. The deer is a little clunky, but on the right track. Keep the critiques coming!

  4. Pingback: 100 Ways « Gabriel Garbow | Artworks

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