Something Was Still Not Right / by VH McKenzie

You can see it in his eyes.

I first painted this little rasta youth a couple years aback, when I first began this blog. It was one of many small ink and watercolor paintings I made during the first year:

Something Was Not Right, 4"x6"

You can read the story I wrote about the young boy here.

As with the oil portrait of my husband that I've posted samples of this week, I'm using many of these smaller watercolor paintings, which are only 4"x6", as preliminary studies for a larger version in oil. The oil paintings are on 24"x36" canvases.

And unlike the watercolors, which I typically finished in one brief sitting, the oils take time to dry between layers. So I'm circulating between several paintings -- I step away from one, not just letting the paint dry but letting my head clear, and embrace another. These close ups I'm posting today are of the very preliminary sketch and washes of "Something Was Still Not Right", in oil on canvas.

I sketched the image in charcoal and then applied very thinned-out washes of paint. As you can see, the paint was so thin (with turpentine) it just drizzled down the canvas in places.

But I like it.

This painting has a long way to go, but I thought it would be interesting to capture this one from jump and update along the way.

I never know where these paintings are going to end up, but I'm looking forward to the trip.