When your Artwork makes it as a Magazine Cover Page….

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Greetings to all Art Dungeon followers! I have great news!! It gives me great pleasure to share with you all that my artwork titled “et ressurectionis”, that I had shared in one of the earlier posts (https://theartdungeon.blog/2020/10/04/et-ressurectionis/ ), has made it to the cover page of a magazine! How cool is that!!

Here are a few snapshots of the magazine’s with the artwork that extends from the front cover to the back cover as one continuous piece. Also including the original painting and a small write up explaining it that was published in the magazine.

The front and back of the magazine
The front cover
The write up
The original artwork

Do click on the link above to know more about the concept, medium and techniques behind the artwork!

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“et ressurectionis”

Hey folks! After a hiatus of two weeks, I am resurfacing with a new post! Finally got a chance to get back to the drawing board after a long long time, so the artwork I am sharing in today’s post not only serves as a comeback to my blog but also to my art!

“et ressurectionis”

I call this one “et ressurectionis”, which is Latin for resurrection. This artwork is once again inspired by the present Covid-ridden scenario that our world is relentlessly fighting day and night. It has been almost a year since we have been in the clutches of this dreaded virus. While we continue our attempts at understanding this miniscule yet powerful entity, it in turn has taught us a lot of valuable lessons, not just physical ones, but also on a spiritual level.

Thanks to the corona virus, mankind has been restrained to the confines of his four-walled dwellings like never before. This alone time, or “Me time” as I like to call it, has given him the opportunity to contemplate and retrospect on what he was, what he has become and what he should actually be. It has given him a chance to delve into the depths of his psyche and confront the real pandemic that has been plaguing mankind for centuries – his own vices, namely anger, violence, greed and his lust for power as well as wealth. Not only is he fighting a deadly biological contagion, but also an intangible one, that is far bigger a threat to the existence of the human race that the organic pathogen itself.

This artwork is a representation of man working towards his long impending goal – to break free from the shackles of his own vices and emerge renewed and victorious not just from the pandemic, but also himself. The blue phoenix in this painting is a personification of mankind reborn after it succeeds in purging the pathosis that’s decomposing his humanity along with the physiological affliction that’s wearing him out physically, for a blue phoenix  is a symbol of rebirth, a return to being, and a new spiritual path.

The phoenix teaches us not just to let go of our old self and our limiting self concepts, but also inspires us to embrace and accept the new us that is abound with all the goodness in the form of virtues that have been listed on the feathers of the phoenix in this artwork.

In times of doubt and confusion, the blue phoenix symbolizes strength, transformation and renewal. For only from the ashes of who we were, can we rise up to become who we are to be. That is how we are rediscovering ourselves as we get past COVID-19.

Dragon – Resurrection

As the name suggests, this one is all about the concept of transformation, to be precise, Resurrection or Anastasis. And what can represent this better than the celestial Phoenix! I have attempted to depict this very idea through the mythical bird’s rise from the ashes. For me, the phoenix is an eternal symbol of hope in the face of adversity.

The phoenix is often depicted as a large red bird rising up from a fire. This is because it symbolizes life after death or hope after destruction. In my artwork, it represents two philosophical principals:
• Out of troubled circumstances comes eventual good.
• Hope never dies.

I know what you’re thinking….Whatever happened to the dragon and how did the phoenix take its place? When the dragon feels cleansed of its misdeeds, he rises above himself and takes the leap of empathy. Having repented for his crimes by burning his sins to the ground, he seems to be “born again” from his own ashes and is renewed with new spiritual life. From these ashes, he is”resurrected” and rises like a new, rejuvenated being – the majestic Phoenix, the ultimate symbol of strength and renewal. He is like the sun that “dies” each night as it sets, only to be reborn in it’s rising the next morning.

Our mindset also undergoes a similar transformation after it frees itself from its frenzied state. When the fog clouding our better judgement has cleared and the dark clouds have moved on, our sanity returns and we obliterate all vices to rise above the turmoil created by the fury within. The resilient human spirit, having overpowered its state of delirium, emerges victorious from its catastrophic existence and rises like the Phoenix, stronger, smarter and more powerful, ready to make a fresh start.

Bringing out the phoenix in its full glory required a lot of hard work, trust me! The most distinctive feature of a phoenix is its plumage. If I were to describe it as an artist, it would be a ruff of yellow, orange and scarlet feathers, so radiant, so beautiful and so vibrant, that they seem to glow in the blaze of their own light. To bring out this brilliance, I have used the brightest tones of yellow, orange and red, the colors of glowing embers. I further enhanced this effect with an amazing technique called Impasto.

Impasto is a technique used in painting, where paint is laid on an area of the painting surface in very thick layers, usually thick enough to make the brush or palette-knife strokes visible. Paint can also be mixed right on the canvas. When dry, impasto provides texture and the paint appears to be “coming out” of the canvas.
Oil paint is the traditional medium for impasto painting, due to its thick consistency and slow drying time. Acrylic paint can also be used for impasto by adding heavy body acrylic gels. Since my medium of choice for this artwork was acrylic paints, I mixed them with modeling paste to thicken them further, thereby adding to the texture and giving the final outcome a so called 3D effect.
The modelling paste I used is good to go for both oil paints as well as acrylics ( see image below).

With acrylics, one can build up a thick, textured surface by applying the paint straight from the tube or thickening it with a gel medium. For a more dramatic textured effect, one can mix the color with acrylic impasto medium, like the one I have used in this painting. Impasto Gel Mediums are used to build thick texture. It is milky when wet but dries clear and remains flexible.

Another fun fact about impasto is that not only does it give the joy of creating innumerable textures, but also provides the flexibility to use everyday objects as wonderful tools to apply paint. You can push the boundaries of this technique with a palette knife, a brush, a spoon, a lid, you name it! In fact, I used an ear bud to achieve the finer details of the phoenix feathers…amazing right? I have personally achieved some pretty awesome textural effects simply by changing the applicator.
Another tip I can share with you all is that when you are applying your paint along with a medium, try to follow the “grain” of your painting. For example, I made my brushstrokes follow the lines of the phoenix feathers; this helped create the impression of a more realistic plume.

This technique served several purposes. Firstly, it made the light reflect in a particular way, giving me additional control over the play of light in the painting. Secondly, it made my painting more expressive, with the viewer being able to notice the strength and speed at which the paint was applied. Thirdly, impasto pushed my piece from a painting to a three-dimensional sculptural rendering. So, I managed to kill three birds with just one stone! All in all, a win-win situation for me, don’t you think?

So what are you all waiting for? Pull out those old canvases (yes, I am talking about those disastrous ones that didn’t turn out to be quite what you expected. They are perfect for exploring!) And if you are feeling brave enough, gesso them and paint over them using this breathtaking technique! Have the time of your lives chucking paint around!!