“Angela’s Skull”

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This painting has been nine months in the making. I started sketching it in November 2018. I’ve been holding off working on this painting because I thought it was daunting. It was my first time painting a realistic skull, and I am making it for a close friend, so I wanted it to be perfect.

When 2019 started, I shifted my focus to studying Microbiology in preparation for my Graduate Placement Exam. I passed the exam and received a scholarship, but I had very little time to get back to my unfinished artworks.

Then, to break the ice, I worked on some light painting, and when I felt that I’m in the zone, I retrieved the skull sketch from my pile. I’m not really interested in making my paintings very realistic — I’m not a camera, after all. I just want to capture the essence of my subjects. Angela said she wanted a painting of a skull, and that’s just what I did. I didn’t want to overthink. I wanted to work on this painting because I know it will make her happy. That’s what I focused on.

After I’m done painting the skull, I thought about adding flowers. It just fits Angela’s personality more if I combine the skull with something beautiful (and purple). And then I thought, “Should I use a perfect pretty purple flower here? Nah. That’s not Angela.”

So I went to my local bookstore and bought a palette knife (I lost mine). I prepared all the colours that I think would work well with the painting and just went to town. Angela is artistic, courageous, and far from being typical. And I’d be grateful if I can capture even half of her personality in this artwork.

I’m very glad with how this painting turned out — happier that I was able to achieve my goal in creating this artwork.

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