Beneath her Face, 2022. Working title was The Partygoer.

She says less than most people, offering no opinions, asking no questions. Her eyes betray not a single glimmer of curiosity, but they never leave yours. She barely blinks. She listens, as if it a chore which she is resigned to. Maybe she just doesn't want to talk? She seems like she wants to put her earbud back in.

> Return to the party

I sketched the rough lineart for this piece at the same time as Out of Hand. In the process, I noticed some subtle and non-subtle problems with the lineart of that piece. It was a good experience, even though it was discouraging. It's rough to be at the end of a 15-hour lineart project and have to redo a lot of it! The style of most of these paintings has a dreamlike roughness to it, which is pretty forgiving of errors in scale and perspective. But it cannot swallow all mistakes, and being able to accommodate a mistake does not mean the painting would not be improved by fixing the errors.

This painting is more about texture than anything else, and (as I often find myself saying here) is highly experimental. I used no blending in Beneath Her Face, using a single uneven solid brush for both linework and colors. I achieved shading one line at a time, as well as using intricate hand-applied textures.

I am pleased with the result, but I wish it popped a little bit more. I could find no means to enliven the backdrop without ruining it, and I was not diligent enough to use perspective to draw the reader's eye to the airpod in her hand. I didn't understand when I did this painting just how much the perspective shift would affect the intimacy of an image, and where it draws the eye.

It is a thin line sometimes between subtlety and emptiness. 

The Hylozoist is a long-form digital project I began in February 2020. Each painting tells a story, and each painting tells another story when viewed in context. Also, each painting can be followed to the next painting in the series if you follow the most interesting thing in the scene.

To see more paintings from the project, click here.