“There’s a shadow just behind me
Shrouding every step I take
Making every promise empty
Pointing every finger at me”
These lyrics have been lingering in the corners of my thoughts for awhile now. Almost as if I’m haunted by them. I’ve been finding more and more that a lot of what’s in me at the time of creation goes into these portraits. The shadows and the ghosts. The good and the bad. They drift in as I’m painting. Unheard whispers from somewhere far inside.
I’ve been in a dark mood this past year. Like I’m underwater, and looking up at the world from a blurry distance. Some days the mud fades and I almost feel normal, and others I’m downing.
This portrait explores a little further into that darker feeling in me. That quiet dread. That exhaustion. It’s interesting how simple portrait paintings can evoke such different moods. I’ve done over a hundred of these style of portraits, and although there is nothing really all that physically sinister about this painting, I think it has the darkest “feeling” out of all of them. As if there’s a shadow hiding in there somewhere, haunting the work art like an ancient ghost.
The photo shoot to get the reference photos for this portrait was fitting. It was through a haunted forest that made my spine feel strange as we wandered through it. Apparently there’ve been numerous killings and bodies found along the trails. It’s an odd place.
The model, Samantha Leigh, was also fitting for this painting. She has that dark, haunted sort of gaze that’s perfect for this style of artwork.
Mixed media 2016
(Digital painting, photography, and acrylic medium)
Painting size: 13" x 19"
With frame: 24.5" x 18.75"
The artwork is available here: http://justingedak.bigcartel.com/product/haunted
Also, check out Samantha’s music. Here’s a link to one of her songs on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/samantha-leigh-kelley/the-meaning-of
For anyone wanting to sign up to my mailing list, I'm giving away a free full resolution digital download of "Born for Battle". It's a very large image, 9000 x 6750 300dpi, and I figured it would be interesting for people to be able to zoom right in to see the details and brushwork. Also, anyone with access to a good printer can print off their own print of it without having to order anything online.
Click on the image below to sign up and get your free download