Live Painting from NextGen worship service

"The Big Picture - God's View of the World and Our Place In It."

NextGen at Highpoint Church - (student ministry) January 11 from 5:00pm to 6:30pm at Briarcrest.

Highpoint church asked me to come paint last Sunday. They provided me with the theme, scripture, sermon notes, and production sheet. With all that information presented to me before I began, I could really focus on the development of the piece as well as the subject. The theme of the night was God's continuous pursuit of mankind:

• The garden, where we turned on Him and He began to pursue us.
• God pursuing Israel through His prophets
• Emanuel "God with us", God pursues us in the flesh as Christ
• Continued pursuit through the great commission and the Holy Spirit

I tried something new this time. I really like how it turned out. Since they didn't teach live worship painting in college, I'll detail my process for you so that it might help you do more creative pieces at your church. I saw an artist's blog where he documented the stages of a his live worship painting. Brad Blackman started his painting by painting text across the canvas. His entry helped me so here's how I used type in my piece. I wanted text to be a stage in the development of my piece.So I don't have photos of my process but I do have these thumbnails. First I started with 20"x16" and 18"x24" canvases that I clamped together in the back to make one canvas. Then I started with light blue text to express the theme of the painting and worship that night. After painting the text, I moved aside for a moment to allow the audience to see it all. This allowed me to mix up some paint. Then I used the same light blue to paint the background. This way I didn't have to worry about covering up the text. It just blended into the background. I left white space for the figure. The "O" in "GOD" was used for the dove.
Then I used a darker blue for the next series of type. I started working on the color and shading of the figure so that it was clear that the figure's back was turned to the light. Then I used the dark blue to add shading and glow.
Then dark blue text blended into the background. After blending the text I worked on finishing the figure and background. It looks like a figure with it's back to the sun.
As Bob finished the sermon with the message about how God still pursues us today through the Holy Spirit, I added the dove and some rays of light. The timing turned out to be perfect (Talk about God having the big picture!). Bob and I couldn't have rehearsed that and done better. I chose to have two canvases for this piece to show the separation that exists because we turned to sin. We can't bridge that gap, but God does. His grace and forgiveness reach out to us if only we will turn to Him and accept it.


Brad Blackman said...

Richard, this is awesome! God always does have perfect timing with this sort of thing. I'm glad I inspired you in some way. It's always such a blessing to share this sort of talent with people, isn't it? Keep up the great work, brother!

Alex Radin said...

Really cool concept man. I would have loved to see a video of this as it developed. There is an artist in the UK that paints series of paintings and photographs them and then turns them into DVD's. I forget his name at the moment but I will try to look it up and email it to you. Let me know when you post the pictures of the painted version.

Richard Fudge said...

There. I've added the finished image.

Wallacy said...

great!! very structured theme!!

Brittany said...

I have been asked to do my first live worship painting and I don't know what kind of paint is best to use...wondering if you could help me out??

Richard Fudge said...

Send me an email, Brittney. richard.fudge@gmail.com