It’s time, once again, for an update on what I have been calling ‘The Daedalus Project’.

When we last saw our heroes, color work had just been completed on the cliffs and mid-ground rocks and grass. Over the past few weeks, Daedalus’ wings and the marble stairs and columns have also been given a splash of color. Most exciting, however, is that with those things finished, I was able to finally start in on the figures.


I decided to start with the boy in the center of the composition. Even though he is the smallest figure in the painting, he is also one of the most challenging thanks to his wardrobe, which leaves him with the largest uninterrupted section of flesh-tones. His youth also means painting his anatomy required not only accuracy, but also subtlety (which is not my strong suit). Once again, the under-painting made everything from blending to color decisions much easier.

For those of you interested in such details, the marble and the flesh-tones were painted over the under-painting in an opaque layer with straight tube colors and without the use of glazing.  I did work into a transparent glaze layer on Daedalus’ wings and the boy’s hair.

Here is a detail shot of the finished figure which is 24 inches tall.

Every once in a while I get a chance to compare two paintings completed years apart. It’s always fascinating to me to see what has changed. In this case, I discovered that this figure is remarkably similar to the one in the painting of ‘Young Icarus’ pained roughly eight years ago. This figure is maybe 1-1/3 times larger, but the poses and costumes are similar. Both figures took about the same time to complete. The older figure was painted without the benefit of an under-painting, and the camera I am using to get my reference material now is vastly superior to the one I had then. The biggest difference, however, is 8 years practice.

In peripherally related news, between the last post and this one I got my first pair of corrective lenses. at 42 I don’t often think of myself as ‘getting older’, and I’ve always though my vision was quite good. But over the past year, I have been noticing things like a tendency to close my left eye when doing blending work, or tip my head back to look down at close details.

I am amazed how crystal clear things are with the glasses on…although for the first couple of weeks I found them quite distracting. I’ts too early to be able to tell if my newly improved vision will affect anything about my painting, but it can’t hurt!