A couple months back I started to realize that many of my favorite contemporary illustrations have light back grounds and dark foregrounds while many of my favorite old time paintings are the opposite. Since I was doing master studies at the time a great deal of my own compositions were always light to dark. So the basis of this painting, Man’s Road, was to challenge myself to make a composition that had a light background and a dark foreground. Add in other things that I have a love hate relationship with such as horses/ hands and I was set!
The concept behind the painting was to show a more gritty scene from the middle ages that most movies or paintings don’t show. Knights are too often recounted as gleaming heroes of the past, when in reality, more often than not, they were a bunch of rowdy higher class men who were kept on out of necessity for protection. They would cause all sorts of trouble when there was no one to fight and boredom threatened. Though, admittedly, they probably wouldn’t go around burning villages because property damage would be unacceptable to their overlord but peasants were usually fair game and bastards were common. Better the evil you know and all that
This is also the first painting that I’ve done where I’ve worked with such thin layers of paint, something that I’m continuing to explore.
The title of this piece was taken from one of my favorite songs from the animation The Last Unicorn.