Trying to Paint Faith and Love

I’ve had this idea growing in me for a while now to paint something which relates to my faith.  I know that many people don’t share this, some have different religions and others don’t believe in any religion at all.  However my faith, Christianity, means a lot to me.  So I want to paint something which carries something of that love in it.


I began over the last week by doing some sketches…


…I started off looking at more abstract ideas (below), but although I could have fun with the painting side of this – I love painting simple shapes in vibrant colours – I wanted this work to have some love in it and I can’t see how the abstract shapes can hold that.





So I started trying to paint people which I find much more difficult to get right and be OK with.



This (above) was supposed to be a sketch of a servant finding the water had turned into wine from one of the miracle stories in the Gospels, but it still doesn’t work for me becuase Jesus isn’t there.


(Oddly, another difficulty I have with this project is that I’m not comfortable painting the face of Jesus.  I don’t know why, but it feels kind of wrong to me to do that.  So I began to look for physical positions Jesus could be in which might hide his face.)





I thought of the time when Jesus wrote in the dust when poeople were trying to stone a woman to death for adultery.  This felt better, but writing in the sand doesn’t show love, although there was a lot of love in the actual situation.

Then finally I got to this kind of scene:



It still needs some work to get the body positions quite right and a feeling of weight and naturalness in the limbs but I think this is the scene I’m going to paint.  Inadvertantly I also got an idea for the background of this painting.  This sketch was one of many on the same piece of paper.  I used photoshop to , rather inexpertly, block out the other sketches which left kind of low contrast shaded rectangles in the background.  I like it and I’m going to use that idea in the actual painting.


So my next job is going to be to sketch this out more carefully and play around with it until I feel that the drawing is how I really want it.  Then I’m going to do a painting sketch in gouache.


After that, I want to buy a canvas and paint it big in acrylic or oil (probably acrylics with strong retardents so I can take my time with the blending without the expense of lots of oil paint.)

Hmmm, quite exciting.