Mark Ulriksen
March 2011
Celebrating the World Champion San Francisco Giants

Last week I finished this homage to my beloved San Francisco Giants, 2010 World Series winners and SF's first championship baseball team ever. A sports marketing friend has arranged for the painting to travel to Spring Training in Arizona this weekend to hang at a restaurant favored by Giants fans. I, however, will be staying home, working on making prints.
Here's my original sketch, done last Novemebr. I wasn't able to start this 48 x 60 canvas until January. It's acrylic and it took about a month to paint. Plus, just getting that large of a canvas to my studio, then to the photogrphers etc. I had to borrow  a friend's van. To ship this to Arizona my wife had to make a box that is almost large enough for our entire family to sleep in.

The canvas was almost as wide as my studio. Normally I coat my canvas in a thin layer of raw umber and seal the under drawing with matte medium. This time I didn't want to have to cover such a large surface using a palette knife, which leaves little ridges everywhere. Big mistake.

The camvas, despite gessoing and sanding, had a lot of tooth and it made painting small details really tough.

I started out by mixing my greens and blues for the large areas of field and sky to block in.

I've finishd the scoreboard ads and now I'm painting Giants closer and resident philosopher Brian Wilson. Because I had to give the clock a time I settled on 7:54 (19:54 on a 24-hour clock). Giants fans will get the reference.

That scoreboard lettering took an entire day to paint. Sheesh.

Pitching ace Tim Lincecum is almost finished. At this point I haven't painted the World Series patches on the uniform sleeves, nor have I painted the mound or adjusted the shadows.

In fact shadows have always been some of my favorite things to paint but also the hardest for me to figure out. I would love to know shadows better, like Istvan Banyai does. On this piece I fooled around and started molding kneeded erasers into the figures of the various players, cast a light on them and outlined the shadows they created. It worked so well I'm going to do it all the time. Maybe.

Freddie Sanchez's leaping grab is probably my favorite part of this painting. Everyone on the field is making a play in my scene but none was as acrobatic or important as this Game 4 catch.
And now the painting is somewhere between San Francisco and Scottsdale, awaiting its debut among a hotbed of goofy, giddy, Giants fans. Amen to that.
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