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batman-n-bananas's avatar


I painted this about a year ago as part of a canvas experiment for a larger art project. The intention was to paint completely on instinct. No reference images, no compostion ideas - just throw some paint down and see what creativity brings. I was going through (and to be honest still am) a pretty major crisis of confidence and originality in my work... this was my last chance i suppose, to see if their was any 'art' left in me...

I started with loose brush strokes to break up the white of the canvas, trying to keep my thoughts on the specific mark I was making, and not its implication on the overall image.
As the layers developed I started to see faces in the paint. Call it imagination or a touch of the schizo, but this is what I saw coming through the canvas, changing some details of course to get the proportions of the faces right.

I'm a completely 'head-over-heels in love' fan of Dave McKean's illustration, especially in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth and I can see how that imagery came through. It wasn't planned, but when you've stared at those pages for as many hours, days, weeks as I have...all your energy draining away as you realise: this is talent, you are no where near as good as this, and you never will be!!! ...his artwork (and the joker) kinda gets into your psyche.


Oh I almost forgot... Ben if you are reading this, here begins the paint battle!!!! ...but remember the pawns always go first...just wait till I bring out the queen. MWAHAHAHA...ha!

...unless you meant MS paint?...cos I'm pretty handy with that too :D
Image details
Image size
2405x2409px 3.53 MB
Shutter Speed
1/60 second
Focal Length
18 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Mar 16, 2009, 12:58:02 AM
© 2010 - 2021 batman-n-bananas
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icandigit's avatar
Very cool man I'm diggin the faded aura that comes from it.
duncantim's avatar
A very clever painting. It reminds me of the style of the Louis Le Brocquay.Very talented.
batman-n-bananas's avatar
Thanks very much for your comment... wasn't familiar with that artist so did a quick google search - such amazing work!!!! Going to be such an inspiration from now on
Lunalacerta's avatar
Haha I was not expecting you to refer to me at the end there! I would participate in a paint battle but all my work is currently in sound, unless I have some kind of episode and explode paint all over my room (actually this is something I have fantasised about doing for many years, to just throw an entire bucket of paint over fucking everything).

I really like the approach you've taken for this, I've definitely felt the same way before, rejecting planned composition and reference imagery etc and working not necessarily abstractly but formally developing something from mental imagery. I can't see any reason why images stored in memories can't be considered equally valid references to found imagery, photographs or contextual refs etc. That really pisses me off, that some tutors think it isn't valuable to create work based on purely your own memory or intuitions (which I think have their basis in previous experience or some kind of subconsciously selected sensory information). If so, why is working from somebody else's valid? Bullshit.

This is like some kind of creepy veil between the human world and the spirit dimension - it looks like a physical (or non-physical) piece of material hanging in front of the viewer with a nice depth/layering effect. The faces look like they are wafting in and out of the surface and amongst one another; it's something I can easily animate in my mind (whereas a landscape for instance I will find difficult to imagine doing anything - this is good!).

The layered vertical strokes reminds me of a particularly very very expensive technique which I can't remember the name of at all so I will now abandon this sentence and slowly walk away.. Although I do remember that it is very very shiny.

Beside that it's interesting how you've drawn faces, it makes me think of how perhaps human sensibilities make it natural to seek out and identify faces in inanimate objects. This is supposedly why so many products in Design are personified with human-like features and we create horrible things like anthropomorphic characters so they are easier to relate to.

So there is your 100% authentic Ben Mobbs ramble about this piece of work and I do hope you stop by my again brain soon. Now I must go because my window is being molested by a chilly wind and I am concerned my rear left speaker is going to get a cold and it won't play music for me any more. Or it might just get wet and short circuit, which is bad. xx

PS: MS paint is fucking awesome
wedges1's avatar
never seen anything like it before , deff eye catching :-)
batman-n-bananas's avatar
Thankyou very much
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