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Mark Prior Painting

(Still in Progress)

This is a painting I've been working on lately, for myself, actually. As, I'm sure you've figured out, this is a painting of Chicago Cubs pitcher, Mark Prior -- and, as I'm sure you've also's a work still in progress.

At left, you'll see the first scan I have of the painting. At this point, I've got all the basic background elements and have already started with adding details to Prior's uniform. As a side note: the reason I chose this picture to paint...not only because I'm a huge Cubs fan, and big Mark Prior fan...but because this is a perfect picture to paint, and it's memorable to me, because it's a picture from Prior's Major League Debut, last May against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Here's a close-up of the detail I've started to add on Prior's uniform. Basically, I've just added the strong whites and dark blues to his uniform. I'll put in the shadows and highlights later on (as you'll see).

I want to really capture the power and velocity Mark pitches with, but at the same time, I hope this captures "the moment". In relation to the background behind Prior, I've left it "foggy" because at this point I was still trying to decide how much of the crowd to incorporate into the background. I don't want the crowd to detract from Prior, but at the same time, I want them to still be noticed. You may also be able to see the lines I use everytime I paint. I "grid" out each painting to help me keep the proportions.

Here I haven't made too many changes from the first picture. I've added more blacks and darkened up the background. I've also started to add some skin tones on his body.

I was actually tempted to just paint the entire crowd portion of the painting black to get a great contrast, and really make his pitching form standout...but I felt it would take away from the realistic look of the painting, that I my style. In addition, I've begun adding some of the shading to his socks, undershirt and hat.

And now, the ever-popular close-up from me. The scan isn't a good one, but it gives you the "gist" of what I've done thus far. The scan picks up all the reflections of the acrylic paint, so it looks worse than it is.

I was also still tinkering with all the proportions. I wanted to make sure his arm was the correct angle, the shadows were in the right place, his feet were proportionate, and of course, wanted to make sure there was some emphasis on his powerful calves.

Now that the picture was taking shape, I was really starting to get excited about hanging it up and displaying it in my room.

This is my latest scan. As you can tell, I've added most of the shadows to his uniform, the grass, the mound and really started to add all the details to the crowd. This is, by far, the most time-consuming portion of the painting...because I chose to add a lot of detail to most of the first few rows of fans in the stands.

There's a little bit of a glare on the scan along the right side, and is not a part of the painting...just a reflection. At this point, there's not a whole lot more I can do to the painting..other than "touching it up". So, I'll probably add some highlights to his uniform, some blacks to give it contrast, add some highlights and blacks to his skin tones, and finally add all the final details to the crowd before I add the shadow, to blend the crowd into the background.

I was hoping you'd be able to see the small pinstripes I've added with this close-up, but "no dice" there. Oh well, I know they're there! You can see some of the detail involved in the crowd and some of the shadows of Prior's uniform. I'm starting to see "finishing line" now and can't wait to complete this painting.

I'm hoping to have the painting finished by no later than mid-August. I'll explain later why I have a semi-deadline for this work. I'm sure this will be the first, in a long line of paintings I add to my own personal collection. I can't wait to paint a Sammy Sosa piece, one of Dan Marino, and many many others.

Here's a couple pitcures of the final product...finished and autographed by Mr. Mark Prior! Sorry about the bright spot in the middle of each pic...but the flash on the camera reflected a bit.

Well, although I didn't get to meet Mr. Prior personally, he was gracious enough to autograph my painting...which is awesome! A huge thanks goes out to Jim O., with the Chicago Cubs and Lorrie P. of the Cincinnati Reds, for helping me set everything up!! They were a huge help, and I can't thank them enough!

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