Cracky-Chan painting completed

I finally finished my Cracky Chan oil painting after many moons had waxed and waned and after countless revisions. Many times I thought I was done but decided to make changes, sometimes major. Most recently I debated for a couple weeks over whether I wanted to make major changes again or not…I had mostly decided to revise it yet again, but then today I realized that I have been spending my time thinking about this painting and forgot all about Dream City #1 which I am close to finishing as well…I realized that I have many other paintings I want to complete (and start) and this Cracky painting is as good as it’s going to be without totally altering some stuff and taking huge steps back…I would rather start new paintings instead.

Cracky-Chan painting, oil on panel, 8x10 inches, 2008

Cracky-Chan, oil on panel, 8×10 inches, 2008

I’m pretty happy with this painting when I look at it in real life, however when I look at these photos of it, it’s much easier to see some of the overall issues that aren’t as apparent when you are only a couple feet away from it. When it’s condensed way down it looks different, it’s also darker in real life then what you see in the picture…anyway it looks better in real life, I swear πŸ™‚

a bit larger than life-size detail

a bit larger than life-size detail

I have learned many strange and wonderous things whilst on this dark and disturbing journey…mostly that it sucks to try to paint something in this semi-realisitic style without planning everything out properly beforehand and when you are a beginner πŸ™‚ I also didn’t step back enough and notice overall issues but was focusing too much on details and textures and such. Although I think the main problem here is that I didn’t plan it out beforehand well enough, many of the issues I encountered couldn’t really be avoided without having more experience…this was a learning process, that was one of the main points of this painting. I worked on this for so long too that it’s like some of my skill improved and left this painting behind…I mean I was working on, and finished, many paintings while this was still being worked on concurrently, so I would return to this and notice things that I could do better now, but it’s sort of too late now on this one…I have completely sanded out and painted over eyes, moved one, repainted it, sanded it down again, totally changed the necklace 3 times, the hair took many wildly different tries, etc etc etc…time to wrap up Ms. Cracky-Chan, varnish it, and finally be done. Oh that’s another thing too, after spending crazy amounts of time on something I wanted to make sure I was as happy as possible with the painting, it’s a fine line between excessive amounts of time and ensuring that you have given it your best try and not given up or been lazy at the end after all that time and effort. I ended up feeling kind of unhappy with the end result, but mostly just when I look at these computer images of it, when it’s on the wall in my house I’m fairly satisfied.

I had a bunch of problems towards the end trying to make small changes to the dry painting, where it looked OK until the changes dried and then they didn’t match the surrounding areas. I “oiled out” the painting by rubbing linseed oil into it before one of these final changes and although it seemed to help the new paint blend in to the dry parts, when it dried sometimes it was more screwed up looking than before I made the corrections πŸ™‚

Colors used and notes (titanium white used in pretty much every section as well) :

Background: initially a chromatic black mixture of raw umber and some kind of blue (french ultramarine?), later ivory or lamp black with alizarin crimson and some white / raw umber or if I had skin tone mixed up I put some of that into the background so it was not a solid black.

Skin tone: raw umber / perm alizarin crimson. I didn’t use any yellow in this mix partly to fit with the style of the ref photo which was very red and also so it wasn’t too difficult to re-mix the same shades later, my paint dries out pretty much overnight so each session I usually have to re-mix the colors…I keep notes and such to help with this. For the red nose and such I used vermilion and a cadmium red along with alizarin crimson.

Necklace: raw and burnt umber, yellow ochre. Jewels were alizarin crimson and cad yellow light.

Eyes: Changed a lot so not sure but I think cobalt and cerrulean.

Hair: It took me SO many tries to get the hair to where I am mostly happy with it. The latest layers are yellow ochre, burnt umber, indian red, raw umber, burnt sienna, maybe some cadmium yellow light (hue). The brushes were the most important part for this, I used a spayed out liner for much of the details and coarse bristle brushes…I also have this one weird small flat shader that works really well for hair ’cause it shows brushstrokes which become individual hairs.

Shirt thingy: burnt sienna, cad yellow light, raw umber, lamp black.

12 Responses to “Cracky-Chan painting completed”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    A suitable offering to the queen of the heavens. When does this go on eBay? The circlejerk eagerly awaits.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Yeah, there’s a lot of “hurr I don’t care since I found out she isn’t actually perfect IRL”, but if you put this up you’d get bids. Regardless of the here and now, the ‘phenomena’ was very important to some and has left a permanent impression.

    It’s pretty good from an artistic perspective IMO. I particularly like the fact that you’ve essentially painted her as a religious Icon, neko ears substituting for the halo, purely (if you are to be believed) because you wanted to experiment with that style. Either way, it’s really very appropriate.

  3. Airn Says:

    As always, thanx for the comments, I like to know someone is out there looking at this stuff so comments are (usually) appreciated πŸ™‚

    Probably will sell this and other paintings later, like when I have no more room in my apartment and need room for new stuff…I’ll post on here when I have a show or put anything up for sale.

  4. Non Prophet Anon Says:

    Your donation of this piece to the Order will earn you the gratitude of the brotherhood. It will be housed in the permenant collection in El Paso, Texas, and viewable daily for veneration.

  5. Airn Says:

    Shoot, I have already planned on donating it to the Louvre, but I haven’t received a response from them yet.

  6. Non Prophet Anon Says:

    The work would be housed and maintained by myself with the upmost care untill such a day as the world recognizes Her true nature.

  7. Non Prophet Anon Says:

    I am not crazy JSYK

  8. blah blah black sheep Says:

    I liked her face in one of your earlier versions, but the final looks way too polished … too clean. The earlier versions had a bit more shadow, mixture of color, etc. The eyes, too, weren’t so crisp. Your end result is almost fairy-tale looking. I guess that’s what you were going for. Looks very good, regardless.

    Cracky-Chan has been an interesting study in pictures, because while some show a zany side (her sailor girl pics), there’s also ones that show a lot of deeper emotion (like the one you chose as reference for your painting.) You can see the emotion on her face, almost a sense of feeling used (or used up), by photographing herself just so she can get people to pay attention to her. It’s as if when she was taking the pictures, she started out on a mania having fun, but then hit a hard realization that she was sort of whoring herself out to an audience. The smudged make-up just amplifies the sense of “I feel like damaged goods that people only care about because I’m pretty”. Some of her later “work” turned quite dark. I think this is someone who really needs an emotional outlet, and someone to confide in and give her a hug. But, obviously /b/ is not the place to find that … they are wolves that are just looking for new meat to chew up and spit out once they’ve had their fun. That’s beside the point, though.

    While your painting is good, it sort of leaves out a lot of the emotion in her face. Your painting has a more open face, brighter eyes, and just looks like some regular person that put some blush on their nose and cheeks. It seems to be missing a lot of the darker emotional impact that the reference material has. Like I said, you’ve made an almost fairy-tale version out of her in your painting by removing a lot of the emotion.

  9. blah blah black sheep Says:

    As a side note, if anyone deserves this pic, it’s probably Cracky herself. Some how seems fitting. Of course, I hear tracking her down is near impossible, since she changes her email addy’s, etc often, because of obsessive idiots stalking her.

  10. Airn Says:

    Hmm, interesting comments about the lack of emotion and not capturing the subject’s darker side. I agree that when you take some of her other photos into perspective this painting does not convey the proper sense of anguish-y angst behind the red nose and clip-on ears. I was struggling just with the basic technical aspects of the painting, so it makes sense that emotion would be lost or not conveyed…then again, my main goal here wasn’t really to produce a gripping emotional portrait but more of an idealized icon-like figure, like one of the angels in Van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece, that sort of thing. I guess I didn’t even have a clear idea of what I was going for really, since the technical aspect was taking up most of my attention.

  11. lou battaglia murray Says:


  12. Dan Edmondson Says:

    Your cracky-chan painting is great! I like it! Thanks for sharing this!…Daniel

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