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Don Jusko

Painting Angels


I started a 44x32 painting of an angel flying school, well I'm still on the charcoal drawing. I've never had the freedom to just "make up" a painting from scratch but I feel I can paint anything in front of me and I'm ready. I thought I'd do an oil small angel one first and thought I was ready enough when I got to this stage of the painting and started drawing the big one with a new layout and more angels.

first small sketch of 2 angels

9-24-11, 43x32, Oil. This is what the sketch looked like in the beginning.

Jusko Angels sketch #2

9-26-11, Four of the six angels in charcoal are locked in with gum turpentine, the big angel and the one she is looking at are not.
It's easy to change the charcoal before you change the charcoal into a pigment with turpentine.

Lg. Angel sketch #1

10-3-11, I changed her again, Here's the plan. I turned her a little more sideways and put her wings in a stopping pattern. She's stopping and at the same time showing the babies what the wings are doing with her matching arms and finger feathers, showing them that her feather "thumbs" are used to test the wind outside her wingspan.

Lg. Angel sketch #3

The background sky colors, I'll let this dry, smooth it out and add the white sun.

Lg. Angel sketch 10-5-11

What do I want this larger angel to do? Where do I want her legs, she has to look air-born, this one looks like she's running.

Lg. Angel running 12-3-11

11-5-11, The big teacher angel is smaller now, the younger ones have their positions in place. I don't work on this painting every day, the paint spends much more time in the freezer then in the open air. This is photographed on 11-5-11

Lg. Angel sketch 11-5-11

12-3-11, I think this is what I want her to look like.

Lg. Angel runing 12-3-11

Ok, here's all the angels, I can't back away for the canvas to get a full shot.

6 angels 11-25-11

2-25-12, I decided to put a dress on the big angel and give the male angels red wings. The speeding angel will be a red winged male also.

red wings

I can't wait to get back to this painting but so much has been happening politically it's been taking my days. I did work on the red winged angel a little. That white area above his shoulders dried so I could add the colors I want. Red doesn't lighten to pink in the sun, it lightens by adding yellow. First to orange, than yellow, than to a reflected white.

1-11-14, It's been more then two years and I haven't got the time to touch it yet. The good part is the web site is coming along, not done, but coming along.
I touched it, 8-2-14, reshaped the wings, the feathers are like fingers, the second feather is longer than the first finger/feather. I had the end feather as the longest. Some birds have two shorter feathers with the thumb feather as part of the progression, making three shorter feathers.
While I'm erasing color down to the gesso with alcohol, (I think you are better off removing oil paint with it's yellowing oil than adding more color.) I know the under layers have been drying since 2-25-12, but why take the chance of a wet layer over a dry one cracking? The dry one might have had a gloss and the wet one lean, that's a disaster in the making.

I still have to make another male red winged angel. Maybe another angel closer to the sun.

8-16-14, I shot the subtracted with alcohol parts and have been working on redrawing the closer angle. The index.htm page and painting my van again fills the day. I have to repaint the van about every 2-3 years. I'm going to try to extend the time between painting with some 2-part final gloss. (4-6-15, it worked!)

red wings
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