Powerful Hairy Thick Nude Man with a Beard, 18x24 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher
The key to getting this painting is that I've tried to crop down on to the figure so that the most compelling, interesting or appealing elements are highlighted: his beard, chest hair and his six pack. I guess he really has an eight pack. I've also made the figure kiss the edges of the composition to make it more active.
In particular I try to approach painting in several ways, I want the drawing skills, color, and anatomy to be accurate but I also try to make the compositions more interesting by avoiding a “bull’s eye” (symmetrical) composition in favor of a more exciting slightly off center or “asymmetrical” composition.
I use a compositional device called the "rule of thirds." The rule of thirds is a guideline for both artists and photographers. It says that if you divide your composition into thirds, either vertically or horizontally, and then place focal areas of your scene at the meeting points of them, you will get a more pleasing arrangement and layout for your compositions.
This painting was done in the "alla prima" method. The alla prima is an Italian phrase that means 'at first attempt'. It refers to a wet-on-wet approach whereby wet paint is applied to previous layers of still-wet paint, often in a single sitting. Over the years, the technique has been adopted and adapted by artists from Van Gogh to Velázquez.
I’m also attempting to work with brush work and thick and thin paint in a more stylized and calligraphic way. I want the paint to be thickest where the light is the brightest and thinner in the darker areas. The direction of the brush strokes is meant to follow and amplify the contours of the forms and make it feel more tangible.
The subject matter of most of my work is usually blatantly homoerotic or at the very least queer. I’m trying to ally with other queer and gay creators in representing people who are often marginalized by the rest of the world and make art that speaks to a community that often is silenced.
This male portrait of a very masculine sexy hairy man is an original painting. I mainly make art about gay bears and other types of art for the queer community. A lot of my art revolves around the portrayal of heroic older bearish or bullish men. In my paintings I'm trying to communicate about body positivity and the beauty of the heroic male "bear."
Many straight folks are unaware of the bear subculture. Hardly a surprise, since a powerful majority rarely concerns itself with the doings of a marginalized minority. When, three or four years ago, I first mentioned bears to my straight friends, none of them knew what I was talking about, though by now at least one of them calls me “The Bear.” Similarly, my heterosexual students, as expert as they might be on current media, seem equally ignorant about this topic.
Most GLBT folks, however, by now seem to know the basics. A “bear” is a hairy, bearded, brawny-to-bulky gay man, usually displaying aspects of traditional masculinity. A cub is a younger version of the same; a wolf is a lean, hairy man; an otter a young version of that. “Woof!” is a lustful expression, meaning essentially: “Tasty! I’d like to climb all over that!” “Grrrrr!” means much the same. As you can see, after twenty-some years of development, the bear community, like any subculture, has its own jargon, sometimes called “bearspeak” or “vocabulary.” It also has its own values, its own style, and its own commodities. There are bear-oriented bars, festivals, music, movies, magazines, and books. There are regional clubs for bears not only in metropolitan centers, where the communities first developed, but also in rural areas.
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