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Painting the Unicyclist

This post is about me painting my Wall Art piece called The Unicyclist. I’m at my happiest when I’m painting. I particularly love working in oil and larger pieces allow me to really slap it on and have fun!

First stage of the Unicyclist by Kim Curtis
Second stage of the Unicyclist by Kim Curtis
Third stage of the Unicyclist by Kim Curtis

I always start by defining the tonal values with thinned oil – very much to the ‘fat over lean’ principle. This is the practice, when using oil in layers, of ensuring that lower layers are thin – diluted with turps – to dry quickly and allowing thicker layers to be applied. Thicker layers consist of either oil paint straight from the tube or paint mixed with oil, painting medium or Liquin. I tend to use Liquin as it really does speed up drying times.

Painting the Unicyclist
Almost finished painting the Uncyclist

Before starting to paint, I had drawn out the figure onto a board and cut it out using a jig saw. You might notice that I wasn’t entirely happy with the line I had taken with saw at the bottom of the wheel. That was easily sorted with the jig saw after the painting was complete.

The cut out panel was then primed with gesso and off we go!

The thing I like best about oil is that you don’t have to be precious about it. The drawing is roughly sketched out with thinned oil. If I think that the drawing is just too off, then I can gesso over it and start again. If it gives me a rough idea, then that’s fine to get with the painting. I’ll be painting over the linework and correcting anything that is totally out as I build up the layers anyway.

This is just one of a range of cut-out Wall Art pieces that Peter and I have produced. We are inspired by anything and everything. The only criteria on subject matter is that it just has to have the potential to look great hanging on a wall as big piece of art! Watch out for bananas, five feet fish, robots and can-can dancers. 

These are sold as one-off originals but you will also see them in our shop reproduced on our lampshades, cushions and  prints. 

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