The first layer of my “Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch” painting

The first layer of my “Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch” painting

If you have been following my Creative Pinellas blog posts, you will be familiar with the large painting project that I’m working on. I will exhibit it during Art Prize 10 at the Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, MI, this fall.

Florida artist Kevin Grass roughing-in the head of Harvey Weinstein in his large Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch painting

I paint using Golden Open acrylics, which stay wet a little bit longer than traditional acrylic paint does. Nevertheless, it is a different process than painting with oils, where an artist can go back and make adjustments to the paint easily, since it stays wet on the canvas so long. That means I have to get things right initially, since making changes would largely mean that I would have to over-paint the mistake from scratch.

The advantage of using acrylics is that the painting will not crack, and that’s been a problem with my oil paintings in the past. The paint also is not as toxic as using traditional oils, especially when it comes to solvents. Acrylic paintings can be varnished a couple of weeks after they are done, while oil paintings need to wait six months to a year (depending on how thickly the paint is applied) before they can be varnished. Varnish not only protects the painting, it also brings out the color properly. What may seem like a dull charcoal grey when the paint dries initially becomes the vibrant black it was when the paint was wet after an application of varnish.

Since I wanted to show this piece in the 2018 Art Prize competition, using oil paint was not an option. The painting would not be dry enough to roll up for transport, and I could not apply varnish to it before the show.

At this early stage of the painting process, I am trying to be as precise as possible in laying down the initial layer of paint for the rough-in. That way I will not have as many corrections to make on the subsequent layers.

The rough in of the figure of Harvey Weinstein in Kevin Grass's "Not #MeToo" painting

Above you can see the initial layer of paint forming the head of the figure of Harvey Weinstein.

Harvey Weinstein's head in the initial rough-in in Kevin Grass's "Not #MeToo" painting

You can see the progress on Harvey Weinstein’s head after a couple of painting sessions.

This is the progress on the two figures on the left so far. You see the glare of the spotlight I need to have on the painting, so I have enough light to work at night, after teaching at St. Petersburg College during the day.

It will take many hours to finish this 7-foot tall by 14-foot wide piece, that’s for sure! Thank you for tuning in to the progress I’m making.

Kevin Grass signature

To see my entire portfolio of paintings, please check out! You can purchase original paintings and fine art print reproductions directly from my website.

Blog post 7 of 22


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