Chicago Artist Roger Moy and his Process

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Process Since I use an airbrush in most of my work, the process is very slow and tedious. Most paintings begin with a small pencil sketch which I scan into my mac and isolate each object and surface. I’ve been using the computer to sketch with for about 5 years. With it, I can play with composition, shape, size, perspective, color, texture, shadow & hi-lites relatively quickly & not waste paper. Even so, my sketches usually take a couple months. When I arrive on a satisfactory image, I do a cheap paper print to scale and transfer that to very thin poster board to be used for masking/stencils. This image is by no means a black & white version of the finished work. It’s likely to change daily as the image tells me what it wants to be.

Most of my work is on Masonite (hardboard) but if I get hold of a free canvass, I’ll use it. Either way, I spray it with several coats of a primer/sealer. If it’s on wood, the surface gets sanded as glass-like as I can get i

Now comes the “fun.” Since I use a lot of transparency, I paint selected parts of the background first, masking off certain foreground characters. Masking & blocking is very time consuming. It’s not unusual for me to spent 2 hours to set up 5 minutes of painting. I take photos through the entire process so I don’t lose the big picture while 90% of the painting is covered up. I also drag these photos onto the computer & make changes.

As the painting gets filled up (I got a mean case of horror vacui), the painting starts talking (sometimes screaming) at me, telling me what it needs.

When it stops the conversation, the painting may be finished. If I can look at it for a couple weeks without changing it (this NEVER happens), I sign it & clear it with water base poly.

I often make elaborate frames that give the painting a very tongue in cheek sense of importance.


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