Inspired by the Haitian Voodoo Loa, Baron Samedi, this macabre acrylic on canvas painting was so much fun to paint in October 2013, right in time for Halloween!
Using a simple hand drawn outline as a guide, black paint was applied to create the silhouette of the face, neck and top hat.
Some detail was added to shape the teeth, eyes and hat perspective before filling the main block of black to shape the image.
After some shading and fading, the detail was added by splattering white paint to give a distressed and ghostly feel.
The black and white detail surrounding the central image was finger painting gone wild- experimenting with random sequences and no linear process, resulting in a nice creepy glow that I had no idea would happen!
Upon closer inspection of the finger painted glowing effect, it became apparent that the random combinations of black and white have created patterns that some people have said are like eyes, faces and even a dog!
Have a look at the video below to see the painting throughout the process! Its aptly set to a wonderfully devilish track by Screaming Jay Hawkins!
“He is usually depicted with a top hat, black tuxedo, dark glasses, and cotton plugs in the nostrils, as if to resemble a corpse dressed and prepared for burial in the Haitian style. He has a white, frequently skull-like face (or actually has a skull for a face) and speaks in a nasal voice.
He is noted for disruption, obscenity, debauchery, and having a particular fondness for tobacco and rum. Additionally, he is the Loa of resurrection, and in the latter capacity he is often called upon for healing by those near or approaching death, as it is only Baron who can accept an individual into the realm of the dead.
Baron Samedi spends most of his time in the invisible realm of voodoo spirits. He is notorious for his outrageous behavior, swearing continuously and making filthy jokes to the other spirits. He is married to another powerful spirit known as Maman Brigitte, but often chases after mortal women. He loves smoking and drinking and is rarely seen without a cigar in his mouth or a glass of rum in his bony fingers. Baron Samedi can usually be found at the crossroad between the worlds of the living and the dead. When someone dies, he digs their grave and greets their soul after they have been buried, leading them to the underworld…“