As I indicated in my previous blog, I always prefer to paint from life. When we use live models, the painting process is much more challenging than when using photos but the results are far superior. Many aspects of the painting process are enhanced ~ including proper lighting and its effects, the accuracy of color in the lit areas as well as the shadows, perspective, lack of distortion and much more. However, the results are worth the hurdles you must navigate throughout the painting process. When painting “I Thirst” every effort was made to paint from life for the above stated reasons.
In order to gain the proper perspective, when painting the soldier (Greg) who was giving Christ the sour wine, I needed to physically elevate my painting platform. I stacked model platforms on top of each other (total of 3 feet) and then elevated the easel to the same level. In order to stabilize the easel, I ran a rope from the easel to an eyelet in the ceiling keeping the easel secure throughout the painting process. There were times when I had to add additional height to my perspective. For this purpose I used a step stool, which gave me an additional 2½ feet.
Greg was a great model. I would ask him to hold the illustrated pose for 20-minute sessions. He is in great shape physically enabling him to hold the pose with very little coaching. By the way, that chain mail he was wearing was not only period correct but also weighed over 30 pounds. When painting from life, having a good model is key … thanks Greg!