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Kent Williams and the Human Eclectic

The recent opening of a group show at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery in L.A. took me by surprise, because the “cover” painting of the group show is an amazing canvas by Kent Williams, called Mother and Daughter.

The crowds that gathered for the

gala opening notwithstanding, what really left me stunned were the series of photos showing the painting from sketch to finish, that Williams posted on his sketch blog. The illustrative technique demonstrated in the photo series is quite interesting. The figures are first rendered in with darks then built up in virtual isolation from the background, except for some effortless splotches of background colors splattered on to find the range of values. From there Williams almost seems to be carelessly splattering on the larger shapes of the background tones, but if you take a look at the fine rendering of the shadows, you’ll be left speechless by how exactly the colors are registered. The seemingly ridiculous cartoons sketched in for the sake of balancing the old-fashioned demon caricatures don’t distract from the power of the main figures. What an awesome stylist!