View Full Version : Teamwork - always a W.I.P.

Rob't Emmet
11-27-2012, 11:10 PM
"Teamwork - I can't define it, but I know it when I see it." I am just getting started on this, but tomorrow I will tone down the dark areas that are too dark. I am using a limited acrylic palette on canvas.


11-28-2012, 06:39 AM
Wouldn't tone down the dark areas yet. You need them to know how to paint the rest.

11-28-2012, 06:56 AM
I agree with Jan. Curious to see it growing

Rob't Emmet
11-28-2012, 09:49 PM

Winds gusting to 50 mph this am, kept me out of the "studio," a shed in the backyard...lots of work to go.

11-29-2012, 03:28 AM
I cannot quite work out what it is you are painting as yet, is this from a reference? or something else?
Difficult to understand at the moment

Rob't Emmet
11-30-2012, 11:06 PM
A pair of firefighters fighting a fully-involved commercial structure fire last spring. The steel framed building with metal siding was under construction and the siding was twisting and pulling away from the framework. The FF's are directing a 3 1/2" line into an open doorway where there is active fire. The fire went to two alarms (a lot of resources from outside cities there helping) and the scene pictured is of the firefighters in a defensive position protecting exposures...there was no way they were going to save the building at that point and had retreated to containing the fire. I am working from a photo, sort of. Still a lot of work to be done, but I have a few more twelve hour days dispatching these guys and 51 other agencies in the current wave of storms coming ashore here, before I can get back to it.

Rob't Emmet
12-03-2012, 08:18 PM

Update - It is slowly coming together. It still needs a few more thin washes of acrylic pigment scrubbed in, some scumbling and a couple of glazes to tie it all together and I might call it done before I overwork it.

I am trying to resist the urge to pull out the airbrush for the stream of water...I will have to see what it looks like when it's closer to being done. Does anybody have any thoughts / suggestions?

Rob't Emmet
12-04-2012, 07:27 PM

A bit more done...

12-05-2012, 07:28 PM
Is this some sort of paint by numbers technique?

Rob't Emmet
12-05-2012, 09:54 PM
Is this some sort of paint by numbers technique?

If that is what you want to call it - go ahead. I'll let you assign the numbers to those four tubes of paint I use. It's just bits of pigment on canvas, do you paint in another way?

Hans Hoffman taught me years ago to squint at scenes I paint, so try that...squint at my work. But since this is a W.I.P. forum, you might want to wait until it's finished.

Rob't Emmet
12-05-2012, 10:10 PM

12-05-2012, 11:38 PM
No, don't think I will

You may want to measure the proportions of the fire fighter kneeling
Tiny feet, elongated torso, why the other is sitting on the hose I have no idea

Good luck

Rob't Emmet
12-06-2012, 12:28 PM

You are correct about the size of the boot on the kneeling FF, I will work on that. As you pointed out in post # 5 above, you are having difficulty understanding the painting, so I went to great lengths in post # 6 to explain...I am sorry if I was unsuccessful and you still don't get it, I will try again.

High pressure fire hoses are notoriously unstable and difficult. I have personally attended to a young FF struck in the chest by a high pressure nozzle that got away from him...traumatic cardiac tamponade is not a pretty sight. FF's try to minimize those dangers so they can go home to their families. Since these FF's have retreated to a defensive position, they have looped the supply around the 'point of view,' and by sitting on the hose the nozzleman has stabilized it and lessened the chance of the thing getting away from him and smacking him square in the face.

Bunker/turnout/structure gear is quite bulky, usually consisting of at least three thick layers including a vapor barrier liner. It is pretty difficult to identify anatomical landmarks, such as a long torso, but, I am very sure of my proportions, except for the one boot.

The painting's title and theme is about teamwork... these guys train constantly to minimize the dangers. It is about them, and their safety, and of course the results they produce, saving lives and property, ameliorating pain and suffering and reducing disability. Of course, FF's in your neck of the woods may have different practices, safety standards and protocols.

A similar profession where the effects of teamwork are so strongly felt, is the cockpit of commercial airliners, but a painting of two folks communicating and going over a checklist while sitting in a cockpit would probably be boring. I believe I have successfully rendered "Teamwork" even though it's nowhere near done yet. Happy trails...

Rob't Emmet
12-06-2012, 08:30 PM

Okay, I know I've said that turnout gear is bulky, but if the kneeling firefighter sees how portly I've painted him, I'll be needing an extrication assignment to remove a pike pole from my posterior. I think I have his boots re-sized sufficiently, still refining the turnout colors, but trying my darnedest not to include too much detail. I removed a thermal imager case and a flashlight for the composition. Nobody cares that they are wearing Cairns helmets or wearing MSA breathing apparatus, both of which are clear in the reference photo.

12-07-2012, 03:20 AM
Having spent 21 years in the Navy I know what team work is from a professional personal involvement.

I will follow your progress with interest


Rob't Emmet
12-11-2012, 11:48 AM
Oops :confused:

Rob't Emmet
12-11-2012, 12:01 PM

I owe you an apology in light of your naval experience. If your experience is like American naval personnel, firefighting is an offensive fight, after all that is your home, where taking a defensive posture cannot occur. Going home to the wife and kids at the end of the day, if you fought a fire defensively, just might mean a long swim. 'Surround and drown' from a defensive stance takes on a whole new meaning.

But, you did make me double check myself, never a bad thing. I have shown pictures of this W.I.P. to numerous fire officers in the last week and they all smile and say that is a perfectly acceptable local standard. The advantage in this defensive situation is that the nozzleman can effectively and safely work alone, and the setup is easily moved if necessary.

I do appreciate your input, and hope to make at least some progress in the next few days.

Happy trails...

Rob't Emmet
01-19-2013, 09:28 PM
Finally a day where the studio thawed for a few hours before the light failed...I got a few swipes of pigment on anyway.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jan-2013/1114832-Recent_002.jpg

01-20-2013, 08:58 AM
love seeing this come together. great sense of depth.

Rob't Emmet
02-17-2013, 11:10 AM

Sorry about the blurry iPhone image, the next update will be more in focus.

02-18-2013, 06:38 AM
I too am enjoying the work come alive from a lot of Vicky blurred colours to a truly remarkable painting. Well done so far I say! Love the stories and informative descriptions that have come along in this thread too! Cheers =)) Debs.

02-19-2013, 01:53 PM
Is this some sort of paint by numbers technique?

Andrew, you're simply hilarious! :lol:

02-20-2013, 12:42 AM
It's just bits of pigment on canvas, do you paint in another way?

totally in another way
thanks for sharing this way tho
it's very cool

i've done drawing lessons like this (super soft focus slides, transitioned to more clear for refining)


Rob't Emmet
03-16-2013, 08:46 PM

Thanks to all for your comments. I had that killer flu that was going around then caught a cold that became pneumonia, yuck! I am finally starting to feel better, and I am getting a bit closer to completion. My technique involves scrubbing acrylics onto canvas, pushing the brush as much as pulling, I am murder on brushes and you would be hard-pressed to find a 'brushstroke' in my work. A simple warm palette on a 48" square canvas.

The Sebastapol Fire Department has a wall that it will hang upon on completion. I am going to get a shadow box frame from John Annesley, the artist who stretches my canvii, this will really finish it off. The Barlow building, the old apple cannery on fire, has almost been completely rebuilt into retail spaces...it pretty much collapsed a few minutes after the reference photo was taken.

I want to thank Scott Manchester and his bosses at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat for their permission to use their image. They have been invited to the unveiling. I was the incident dispatcher for this fire that went to 2 alarms.

Rob't Emmet
04-24-2013, 09:04 PM

I am calling this done. A floating frame of varnished basswood has been ordered from www.johnannesley.com (http://www.johnannesley.com) the master who constructed and stretched the canvas and Andy Warhol's canvas supplier. It will hang at the Sebastapol CA. Fire Dept. in a couple of weeks.

Dana Design
04-25-2013, 11:01 AM
Well done! That big plume of smoke looks dangerous so it's well depicted!

04-25-2013, 11:09 AM
I enjoyed watching this and I like the way you resisted the detail. The composition is strong and the little coloured shapes add up to a distinctive piece.

11-21-2013, 02:10 AM
A powerful painting that tells not only the story of teamwork, but of bravery, service and doing a job well in the face of dangers.
Having been a volunteer on our local fire dept. I understand well why the nozzleman is sitting on the hoses and what his back up man is doing.
I'm fascinated with the way you build a painting, it's been fascinating to watch it come together. Great detailing without detailing :) The composition adds to the strength of the piece.

12-27-2013, 06:44 PM
Interesting composition and i should say, vibrant colours. Almost as watercolour's.
Good job Rob.