Last night Jeff and I took a walk and talked about future video ideas. I've been wanting to paint some Breaking Bad fan art for years, and in honor of the upcoming series finale, we felt that the time was right. Plus we could turn it into a video! I could not have been more excited about this.
Once home, I found a great shot of Walt and Jesse from the series of season 5 promotional photos on AMC's website.
In the photo, Walt (Bryan Cranston) is in the foreground and Jesse (Aaron Paul) is farther away from the camera. I wanted to put them on equal footing in my painting, so I made Jesse a bit larger and moved him closer to Mr. White. I taped a piece of 11"x14" watercolor paper to a board, painted it acid green, and let it dry overnight.
This morning, after Jeff had some trouble arranging my new painting setup, I started painting Walt with black watercolor. This is one of my favorite ways to paint: black watercolor on a toned or stained sheet of paper, heightened with white. It's an old-school way to work, and while this is more of a dry media project (charcoal, pastel, pencil), I love it with watercolor and do it all the time. Walter White's face features a fascinating network of wrinkles, especially around his eyes and forehead. It took about an hour for me to finish his face before I moved over to Jesse.
(This is a black and white version of the original green painting.)
Jesse went a little faster than Walt--fewer wrinkles, no glasses--but that beard of his was a real speed bump. I think one of his top distinguishing characteristics is that crease that creeps from his left eyebrow toward the center of his face. If you hide it with your finger, Jesse looks like he admires Walt. Remove your finger, and Jesse's dubious.
As is the case with most of my videos, I painted this at breakneck speed (for me), and I finished it in about three hours. To produce a video with a manageable viewing time, Jeff sped up that boatload of video 32 times. So my hand is just whipping around in this one (check out my white nails--get it?). The video contains no narration and is more about entertainment and fan geekery than education, but at the same time I think it's always helpful to simply watch someone work. If I get requests to slow it down, we might put together a longer version with narration.
So here it is! I hope you're a fan of Breaking Bad at this point. I can't tell you how much time Jeff and I devote to discussing the show and how much brain space it occupies, especially now.