Markers / by Jason Kappus

I have a hard time finishing oil paintings recently, so when I started conceptualizing the Eyes Closed, Laughing series I wanted to work in a medium that is easier to pick up and put down, easier to work on sporadically, five minutes here, thirty minutes there. 

Acrylic? you say.
No. While it would be exceedingly logical, for several reasons, for me to work in acrylic, acrylic and I have never fully clicked. 

Pencil again, like with the early Obscured Faces?
No. This is laughter we're talking about, so I think it needs color. 

Colored pencils, then?
No. For some reason that didn't occur to me. 

Instead: Markers.
Well, the actual, no-spin, answer is because I had a dozen markers laying around from a PDXOS project from several years ago. So I did a test with them and it kind of worked. Then I bought a few more markers and did another sketch and that was better. So then I bought lots of markers. 

And then I thought, Should I have done this in colored pencil?
But by then I had spent a couple hundred dollars on markers, so markers it was. 

One of the advantages is that markers don't really come in skin tones (that is an advantage, stay with me). With the Obscured Faces I was sticking to naturalism, but for a big, bright emotion like Laughter I want to be a little more expressionistic. I'm not a big fan of impressionism, neo-impressionism, chromoluminarism, etc but I do think the exploration of separate, sometimes dissonant, colors combining optically to seem like a different color is interesting. 

I hope that by forcing myself to use a combination of a variety of colors to achieve a particular color (rather than mixing it up exactly) will help me become more attuned to the nuances of colors found in skin tones. And that this will also make for an interesting experience for the viewer.