In the Ring : Studio Images

This painting is 20"x24"

The drawing in progress with one of my reference photos.

The drawing in progress with one of my reference photos.

I transferred the image to the canvas and began blocking in shapes.

I transferred the image to the canvas and began blocking in shapes.

More coverage. Looking kinda freaky at the moment. Almost like a ghostly biblical scene, but the piece is about child prostitution.

More coverage. Looking kinda freaky at the moment. Almost like a ghostly biblical scene, but the piece is about child prostitution.

Glaze over the tree, and adding pattern to their clothes. I am not sure how I want them to look exactly. I know they won't be this brightly colored, but we shall see.

Glaze over the tree, and adding pattern to their clothes. I am not sure how I want them to look exactly. I know they won't be this brightly colored, but we shall see.

Ok, right now it looks like a cracked out Wonka's factory, but I am pretty sure it will get more subdued as it goes. We shall see!

Ok, right now it looks like a cracked out Wonka's factory, but I am pretty sure it will get more subdued as it goes. We shall see!

Gash (aka Burger, Mashy Man, etc.) chillin' in the studio.

Gash (aka Burger, Mashy Man, etc.) chillin' in the studio.

Starting to play around with the sky. Not really sure what I am doing with it since this is the only part of the design not planned out in the drawing phase. How about some happy little clouds?

Starting to play around with the sky. Not really sure what I am doing with it since this is the only part of the design not planned out in the drawing phase. How about some happy little clouds?

Continued to develop the clouds and sun ring. Adding color to the interior of the jar to separate it from the background. I want to make sure the viewer interprets the interior as a "negative" environment, so the colors are going to be dirty.

Continued to develop the clouds and sun ring. Adding color to the interior of the jar to separate it from the background. I want to make sure the viewer interprets the interior as a "negative" environment, so the colors are going to be dirty.

Referencing a photo that I took in DC of a Chinese lacquer box, there will be a flower ball design in those floating orbs in the sky. Here they are just blocked in with blue for placement.

Referencing a photo that I took in DC of a Chinese lacquer box, there will be a flower ball design in those floating orbs in the sky. Here they are just blocked in with blue for placement.

Added flower pattern to balls with purple. Good night and big balls...

Added flower pattern to balls with purple. Good night and big balls...

After adding some blues and yellows to the balls, I went back in with white to make them pop. Also lightening the skyline and hazing out some of the clouds to get more depth.

After adding some blues and yellows to the balls, I went back in with white to make them pop. Also lightening the skyline and hazing out some of the clouds to get more depth.

Detail of balls in progress.

Detail of balls in progress.

Been focused on making the tree come together. Starting work on the mushrooms soon.

Been focused on making the tree come together. Starting work on the mushrooms soon.

Working on mushrooms in general, by fixing shapes and base colors.

Working on mushrooms in general, by fixing shapes and base colors.

Close-up of detail work in lower right corner. Still figuring out how I want the shrooms to look.

Close-up of detail work in lower right corner. Still figuring out how I want the shrooms to look.

More changes to the shrooms. Just not sure where they are going, so I am going to leave them be for now and move on to the interior of the jar.

More changes to the shrooms. Just not sure where they are going, so I am going to leave them be for now and move on to the interior of the jar.

The mushrooms continue to plague me. I have an idea of what I want, "little gems," but not really sure how to make them the way I want. Starting to play more with the lighting as it is coming from behind.

The mushrooms continue to plague me. I have an idea of what I want, "little gems," but not really sure how to make them the way I want. Starting to play more with the lighting as it is coming from behind.

Working some brights back into the shrooms. Playing more with the colors.

Working some brights back into the shrooms. Playing more with the colors.

Brightened the background in the jar to make the shadowy girls pop a bit more. Really liking that effect.

Brightened the background in the jar to make the shadowy girls pop a bit more. Really liking that effect.

Decided to abandon the shrooms for a few and focus on the contents of the jar, mainly the girls. Maybe if I have a better idea of how they interact in the space, the shrooms will start to make sense.

Decided to abandon the shrooms for a few and focus on the contents of the jar, mainly the girls. Maybe if I have a better idea of how they interact in the space, the shrooms will start to make sense.

Got her limbs blocked in and corrected some anatomy issues. Just to clarify, in case it is not obvious yet, these girls are dolls, hence the joints.

Got her limbs blocked in and corrected some anatomy issues. Just to clarify, in case it is not obvious yet, these girls are dolls, hence the joints.

I kept looking at the girls with their sticks and wondering why the heck they had them. My initial thought with the presence of the sticks was to represent the question "Why?" by having them shaped as "Y"s but beyond that, who the heck knows. Then, after a conversation with my husband, it came to me...

I kept looking at the girls with their sticks and wondering why the heck they had them. My initial thought with the presence of the sticks was to represent the question "Why?" by having them shaped as "Y"s but beyond that, who the heck knows. Then, after a conversation with my husband, it came to me...

There needed to be some creatures in the jar, so out came the snake, monkey...

There needed to be some creatures in the jar, so out came the snake, monkey...

and the cock. Real subtle, I know. ;)

and the cock. Real subtle, I know. ;)

The animals are blocked in after being transfered.

The animals are blocked in after being transfered.

Blocking in details on the animals.

Blocking in details on the animals.

Working on lighting. I wanted the figures to be lite from behind so their faces are in shadow and they are glowing. Need to build up patterns now.

Working on lighting. I wanted the figures to be lite from behind so their faces are in shadow and they are glowing. Need to build up patterns now.

Detail of girls in progress.

Detail of girls in progress.

I wanted the girls to look like they were being lit from behind, but ended up making them look like they were residing in the shadows.

I wanted the girls to look like they were being lit from behind, but ended up making them look like they were residing in the shadows.

I watched a TED lecture about the sex slave trade and realized that my image was way too safe for the scenario I was trying to present. I finally decided that the main problem was too much clothing. They needed to seem vulnerable and it also needed to be clear that they were dolls, so off came the clothing.

I watched a TED lecture about the sex slave trade and realized that my image was way too safe for the scenario I was trying to present. I finally decided that the main problem was too much clothing. They needed to seem vulnerable and it also needed to be clear that they were dolls, so off came the clothing.

Starting to develop the doll shapes.

Starting to develop the doll shapes.

I finally broke down and took out one of the girls. She was getting lost in the composition and flattening the interior of the space. I am also bringing the "balloons" down into the lower portion of the piece.

I finally broke down and took out one of the girls. She was getting lost in the composition and flattening the interior of the space. I am also bringing the "balloons" down into the lower portion of the piece.

The tree starts to take shape...again.

The tree starts to take shape...again.

Planning to change the color of the shrooms and develop the girls more. The bubbles had to come down so the canvas was not divided in half. Much better.

Planning to change the color of the shrooms and develop the girls more. The bubbles had to come down so the canvas was not divided in half. Much better.

The pinks and purples are working better than the orange/red shrooms. Also tweaking the shapes as I go.

The pinks and purples are working better than the orange/red shrooms. Also tweaking the shapes as I go.

Worked on the girls yesterday. Finally realized that the small brush I was using was not small enough. Love their faces now!

Worked on the girls yesterday. Finally realized that the small brush I was using was not small enough. Love their faces now!

Finished painting

Finished painting