"Prima Ballerina" - large oil painting with black and white color only

in art •  2 years ago 

Created with pure black and pure white only, and without mixing any of it on my palette. As you can see in this detail, I worked on a black background and basically "drew" the whole piece with small brushes and white only...


Most of the elements are "built" crosshatching and light and dark are determined by the amount of white added to a particular area. I had found out, that the grays produced this way are very different from those mixed on the palette.

The painting is a diptych, painted on two connected canvasses, one with a lighter and one with a darker background and a total size of 77"x51".


The mechanical parts represent the precision of the performance of the prima ballerina, after years of practice and experience..


and the hand stands for the element of control..


The fabric imitates the curtain of the stage, also hiding all the hard work behind it all and of course the high heels are a bit... exaggerated ;-)


The whole painting was done in acrylics and oil, similar to the technique used in
"Grande Venusmachine"

photo #ReinhardSchmid of my own artwork


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Le sigh.... as a former dancer I can very much appreciate this! Those heels!

What a coincidence... I was just wondering, if I should ask the ladies around here to post their favorite high heels in the comments.. if possible in a photo where they are dancing! 👠💃 (hint hint 😉)

You're looking for more reference material. ;-)

Always! 😊

what I always adore about your Art is though I feel every time as though I can touch it... the cogs feel like they are spinning the metal looks as though it is cold to touch. The heels.... well those heels always make me feel like I should thread softly :]
The realism is intense!!!!.. I love the idea of how you project that the hand is control.. as always... your work has many layers and hidden meaning and always fun to dissect them...interesting that the heels(feet) and hands pay such major roles of authority :0

I am glad to be back friend, and of course visiting your page did not disappoint.. I will be happy to get back into the swing of things...
I wish you the most pleasant of nights at your corner of the world and appreciate your beautiful pieces, as ever !!!

Very happy to see you are back, your comments are always so special! Glad you "feel" the painting like that... maybe it is because I imagine I'm shaping things more than just applying paint..

Wishing you a good night as well... I think our time zones are only one hour apart. If anything..

I always imagine that your paintings exist somewhere in real life, in another dimension...
they really are something else- from another world.
maybe they are a vision :].. honestly, I know that is strange but that is how I envision them!

& I am so happy to be back... after being away from steemit for such a period it was hard to get back into the swing of things, but now feels like I never was apart, aha! :]

Good Night Dear! lovely to hear from you again, too!

Nice work ! Excellent technic and original subject. Like the mechanism in the hand and the special shoes . As you i used sometimes mechanisms in my sculptures. Followed , upvoted and resteemed.

Thank you very much! Just came across your extraordinary work and I am really fascinated by what you do! ...Likewise ;-)

Thanks :-)

Ooooh! This image has such a different tone to it being black and white vs your usual playful colors. Your usual elements of mechanical and flesh are there, but it somehow seems much more intimate being closer in and seemingly dimly lit with all the b&w shadow work. And I'm fascinated that this is essentially all white paint meticulously applied on dark canvas. Really incredible! Beautiful work Reinhard. 🙏🏽✨

Oh and I love how you explain tHe elements here, like what the gears and cloth represent. I think you usually leave that to viewer interpretation? But this time it's nice to see into your mind.

One thing I can't figure out is the hand. Her thumb would be on the top of her hand vs the bottom as it's shown, and you don't make mistakes like that. So the hand representing control is that of someone else back in the shadows...?

Yes, quite different indeed... it was actually a task given by the Libellule group for another exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. We got the size and the painting had to be black and white... so, grayscale in the end, but I took it literally 😇

Normally I don't give much of an explanation, as I like the "uninfluenced" interaction. To me the piece of art is not only what the artist creates, but also what the viewer (or listener) perceives. I find it very interesting and inspiring to hear about this other half. I explained the elements this time, because they all have a specific meaning and it would probably be hard to figure out these personal "symbols".

Great observation with the hand, I think most people don't even notice... which is something I like to do. Paint something in a way that it looks right, when you first see it, but then you hesitate and your eye gets "trapped" to take another look, to figure out, why something doesn't fit or work. So yes, it could not possibly be her hand, even if it was her right hand, she wouldn't be able to have it there in this position. Its more of a metaphor for control... on many levels. Of course, the control, a dancer needs to have over the body.. comparable to you, when you practice yoga. But like there, it takes more than just that. You need control over your mind and then there is the "theater", a job, or a business, that all has to be orchestrated and directed properly... and the thought of someone else in the shadows is also there, since the ballerina, no matter what her position is, is under control of others to a certain degree..

Yay me on noticing the hand! ☺️😆 It is actually possible that it's hers...if she loops her right arm behind her back and then externally rotates her forearm positioning the thumb downwards. (I just experimented and tried to figured that out myself. It is like a twisted yoga bind.) Anyways...I love that you included that witty surprise element in the image.

Again, I got to enjoy a deeper peek into your mind as you further explained your intentions for the symbols in the artwork. Even more with your musings on the element of control issues, or "who's running the show" regarding the ballerina and the show. She's like a wind up music box ballerina in a way...when the curtain goes up and the music goes on, based on years of training and practice plus neurological and physiological patterns that develop as a result - she is triggered to perform. Almost on auto pilot...she can't help herself.

But was that result her doing? Or that of others? In other words is that hand in control hers, or that of some "other" in the shadows. Or both?

I should have remembered, that if there was anyone who could do the trick with the hand, it would be you! Too bad, sean-king wasn't there to take a picture, when you did your experiment.

Again, you put it all in such beautiful words. I like your comparison with the music box and the mechanical parts would point in such a direction as well. You describe the ballerina's appearance on stage exactly the way I thought of it!

Is it all the result of her doing? I deliberately left it open, who's hand it really is... hers in a wild and sort of contorted position? Or just the person moving a handle in the background... I think there are many for it all to work.


  ·  2 years ago (edited)

I saw the thumbnail and thought," i would be awesome if they were legs..." then saw the whole piece and was blown away! the organic mechanic gizmos really compliment the feminine figure. <3

Hehe... of course there had to be legs. Why bother painting a ballerina otherwise 😉

Thanks a lot for taking a look, seeing all that and for your really nice comment! ⛵️

haha, i didn't even read the title... i was just totally drawn to the image.

Upvoted and Followed !cool stuff ! I'm also an illustrator but I work digitally, take a look at @derekvonzarovich

Very interesting work! Thanks a lot for your comment.

I do love your work, this is beautiful.

Thank you, for seeing the beauty in it 🎨

Another amazing artwork:) I understand the process a little bit and i blelieve it must have been very difficult, lets say how you can correct a mistake? or how fast you must work to let the tone take the hue that you want in every part of the painting? To make successfuly sth like that you must be more than an artist, so my friend you must be also a technician:) Also my favourite fetish artist, you make the feet and shoes in suchhhhhh a tasty way:)

A big thank you to a master artist for this exceptional compliment!

When you are cross hatching and drawing with small brush strokes, your movement is kind of quick, but the progress is slow... as you move in tiny steps. If one line isn't 100% right, it doesn't matter so much, as you add dozens more and therefore with time you get it all the way you want it to be.

If a major change is inevitable, you try to rub it off within a few minutes or paint it all "backwards" with little black lines ;-)

I like technical stuff and if it hadn't been for math, I might have become an engineer... 👷🏻‍

Hehe... nice to see, we like the same... ahm... things 😉

Yes, yes.. now that you mention it i can see a few of the lines:) So interesting technique and a big thank you for the explanation, being able to understand how you work is letting me step into your world:) This creates a strong bond between artists. Always eager to see more:):):)

Great that we have such a mutual respect and appreciation for each others work! Always enjoy looking at yours :-)

Wow! It is incredibly beautiful! The technique described fascinates me. I would love to see you creating/painting it. Or something else like this. :)

I know you could do it too... its basically the first step of the mische. Just on black, instead of a mid tone :-)

I imagined is the same stage as in mische-underpainting but your execution is indeed a masterpiece. I am glad I know you! ;))

Thank you for your kind words. Since I am well aware, that you know what it takes, your compliments mean a lot! 🤗

This technique is interesting and very detailed, given that individual bush strokes add up to the final tones - you are very correct in saying a mixture wouldn't achieve the same effect.

The control and patience needed is impressive. I hesitate to ask how long this took, but I must satisfy my curiosity.

Thank you for sharing this, I'm always awed by your technical and artistic skill.

Seems tedious to most people, but I like it. I prefer drawing over painting, so even when I paint, I sort of draw. Plus this approach results in a sort of luminosity, which can't be achieved in any other way (I know of)

Your question is quite alright, and people often ask me, how long it takes to create my paintings. In short: long 🤡

No, seriously... I think this one was about 10 weeks. Working on it almost every day during that time. I'm a little faster now.

Thank you as always, for your kind words!

What of perfection - the details are amazing -
WOW - Masterclass - TOP :-)

Vielen vielen Dank, freut mich von Dir immer ganz besonders!

This is a very curious and exceptional piece of work. Amazing.
Voted with everything I have.

Thanks for sharing

Cordial thanks for your kind words and the resteem! 🙂 Love your animations, but my voting power is down... I'll be back 😎

Hey no probs. Its not about that for me. You deserved it. It is an amazing piece of work. The best ive seen in a loooooong time.

Talking of animations. I like your footer image with your signature. I could turn it into a nice subtle animated gif where your signature writes in on the page and the finger print gets added for a mere 5 SBD. If you wanted one that is. :)

Again, thanks for sharing. This image will stay in my mind for a long time.

Again, thank you very much for your compliments and the offer for my logo. Just not sure how I'd like the movement...

Very nice @reinhard-schmid ...blessings

Thank you very much :-)

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Wow! I absolutely love ballet themed artworks and this one is amazing! You have incredible skills, I hope I can reach this level someday ❀

Thank you! I see your work is also very imaginative and well made. We are all learning with every painting :-)

this is awesome Reinhard! I wish I had your patience .... but then: I am not a doctor, lol Patience vs Patients

Well Otto, saw your work in Poland and it doesn't look like the lack of patience is an issue!

Your technique is mind-boggling. I have told folks when doing a drawing tutorial - with pencil that after years you can really work various tonal values - but doing it essentially just with white paint - and with such precision is un imaginable. Great work! You are a master! I upvoted too.

Thank you for your kind words. Getting the these tonal values right can be a challenge, but in this technique of painting, you can go back and forth until you are content... just takes a little practice.. and patience ;-)

Very cool creation kinda Art Deco and Geiger all in one

That's a big compliment! Thanks a lot!!

Wow! It is amazing, @reinhard-schmid
It looks so real. Keep up the skillful painting.

Thank you! I see you are quite the artist yourself!

I am ok. You are the man.

very nice. @reinhard-schmid Looks a little inspired by the art deco era - the paintings in all the buildings in new york from the 20s-30s have a similar style

Art deco is really one of my most favorite periods, thanks for seeing the analogy.


Thank you! :-)

This is fantastic!! These details are just breathtaking!

Glad you like it! Thank you 😊

This is wonderful! The light, the darkness the shadows. How true what you're painting "speaks", practising in darkness lasts for ever to get us a few minutes under the shining lights on stage...

Sorry for my late reply... thank you for seeing that in my painting, its precisely one of the things I wanted to express!

That's ok! :D

Einfach wunderschön..großartige Arbeit.Ein klares upvote

Ganz herzlichen Dank!

Great! The clockwork mechanical parts... I'm in love with the idea of merging mechanical parts with the purity of the body since i can read and talk properly. The technique is amazing... well there is no need to say that.
I tend to hide the parts of the body that i don't like to draw at the moment with cloth or armor too, or with other effects like blood splat for example... I'm glad i'm not the only one doing that.

Thank you for your kind and detailed comment. Yes, those little technical things fascinate me, for as long as I can think back.

I was covering things that I found hard to draw only a few times very long time ago... didn't find it satisfying and took on the challenge to paint and draw everything that I thought should be there. If something is covered in a painting of mine, its for different reasons...

yeah. The point is to be a good painting. so we have to do what we should. Making things easier won't help. :) I try to escape my laziness, but sometimes the old habits come back.