Check out the time-lapse of me painting this artwork here
This Colorado flag painting was created with the intent of capturing the energy of Denver, along with representing our magnificent Rocky Mountains. I was born in Denver and I feel lucky to have lived in such a beautiful state my entire life. Coloradans are so open minded, creative, thoughtful, and will go out of their way to help each other, which are qualities that make me proud to call this place home.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK:
The yellow sphere in the artwork was painted with the brightest colors of yellow, making it the main focal point of the piece and was meant to symbolize Colorado’s sunshine, however, rather than paint sun rays extending out from the sphere, I chose to use splattered paint and drip marks in order to make my flag a little more unique. The “C” circling the sphere was painted red and in the original flag it symbolized the red rocks in our state. My “C” also has highlights of yellow in order to make it look as if it was reflecting the light from the sphere and this gives the “C” a more three dimensional quality. This overall area of the painting has the most energy and reflects the active nature of the people who live here, because their spirit has helped shape Colorado into what it is today.
Behind the “C” and sphere, the Denver cityscape was painted with the Rocky Mountains behind it. In the original flag, the white stripe was meant to symbolize our snow and for this reason, it made sense to use the stripe in order to depict our mountains. By painting the cityscape as a silhouette, the Wells Fargo Building (know to Coloradans as the Cash Register Building) became more easily identifiable and gave this area of the painting more contrast. Originally, it was never my intention to give the buildings windows or make them appear three-dimensional, however, after I painted the “C” and sphere, it became important to carry the same level of detail throughout the rest of the painting. The piece became unified once I added detail to the clouds behind the mountains and the fog near the bottom. I decided to leave the splattered paint around the image because I felt that it gave the artwork more character since it appeared raw and unrefined. Overall, I feel that this artwork was successful and I plan to paint another onto a canvas in the near future.
WHEN THINGS DIDN’T GO ACCORDING TO PLAN:
I had several setbacks while I painting this artwork. First and foremost, the wall I was painting on kept absorbing my paint, especially blues and greens. On several occasions, I painted blue into the sky and left it to dry, only to return and find that the blue paint had once again absorbed into the black paint behind it. The only way I was able to rectify this problem was to continue to paint layers of blue onto the same area until the wall was completely saturated and the blue paint dried to the surface. Another setback I had was when I couldn’t decide how to unify the artwork. First, I tried painting several green and blue circles around the piece, along with a red circle on the far right side, believing that if I made the circles appear three-dimensional like the “C” and sphere, than the rest of the painting would come together. After attempting it, I realized that the circles didn’t really look like the graphic design style that I had originally attempted, but instead, bubbles or small planets. This wasn’t entirely the look I was going for and after discussing the problem with my good friends Sebastian Hernandez from Lucid Frame Media and Alex Stanley from ClassTen Photo, we came to the conclusion that painting the circles black and adding fog to the bottom of the image would give the artwork the balance I desired.
THE FINAL PRODUCT:
Overall, the painting took several days longer then I originally planned but I feel satisfied with the final outcome. I feel that this artwork reflects the Denver art scene, which I believe is on the rise. Eventually, I imagine that Denver will become better known for its art and music because I feel that Coloradans have so much to offer in terms of talent and creativity. For this reason, I plan to create more artwork reflecting Colorado’s energy, beauty, and history because I believe that art and music feed into this culture that I love.