Ninety percent mental and ten percent physical

Something that immediately interested in relation to the idea of self-awareness was the relation was the male ego and how any doubt or insecurity is pushed to the back of a mind mentally and ultimately physically. I was interested in the profession of a boxer and what it takes to be a boxer. After all boxing is said to be ninety percent mental and ten percent physical. I essentially wanted to look at those among us who have this robust outer shell that allows them to excel.

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I wanted to do a study of this. I sketched an image of Muhammad Ali as a starting point. I do want to move away from this but as a starting point I felt it worked well. I was trying to uncover the inner thoughts and doubts in a self, or rather an inner self-awareness.  I was doing this with diluted layers of paint not to cover up but to reveal something within this man. His ego perhaps made him more than a man. However, it could be said that his intimidation and belittling of others were to enhance or deceive himself into really believing he was the greatest. An aspect of human nature that interests me, it could be said they are the real special individuals.

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This study above was a practice piece to move onto something more accomplished. I moved onto an oil painting.

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This piece on canvas is in it’s later stages, I felt it was important to document all the stages of my painting as my paintings in general have many layers so the artwork changes quite drastically from time to time. At the start of this painting I originally laid the canvas with a light brown layer of oil paint, I then started to form the face and slowly built layer upon layer until I eventually came to this, a slow process but I adore the element of something being revealed or rather something being covered up. In my latest tutorial I was advised to look at glazing in oil painting and I have done some research into this, however I feel I want to move away from this because I feel it is my comfort zone. I feel this painting is successful as I feel it is quite an honest interpretation of a legend who is ultimately human, a stripped back version where he is vulnerable. With this way of painting I use very diluted layer of oil paint, so there is a very large content of white spirit involved which produces this lovely dripping or rather burning effect as it runs its way down the canvas. I do like this piece, but I know I need o move away from this, although it is complicated I feel it is very simple in terms of my work cause it is comfortable.

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