Hairy Man, 16x20 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher

Hairy Man, 16x20 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher

Hairy Man, 16x20 inches oil on canvas panel by Kenney Mencher

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A NEW survey reveals bears and otters are in, with 58 per cent of gay men saying they prefer chest hair on a partner.

The online survey by travel dating site misstravel.com surveyed more than 4,000 women and gay men about their grooming preferences.

Only 39 per cent of women said they preferred a partner with a hairy chest, with almost two thirds saying they like a manscaped look.

Often, body hair on queer men is an arbiter of masculinity. “You get to flaunt your masculinity with your body hair,” says Hamad, a 23-year old queer person living in the Middle East. “It’s like peacocking. Muscle guys who are hairy are super desirable, but that’s not the case for fat people or skinny people. There are tribes like bears and otters where it gets fetishized. When you’re supposed to be feminine, you’re not supposed to have body hair. You can only have body hair if you have the masculinity to go with it.”

This portrait of was painted in the alla prima method.  Alla prima, also called “wet-on-wet” and “direct painting,” is a very popular method of painting in which the artist applies paint to the canvas essentially in one sitting (“alla prima” is an Italian phrase that translates to “at once”).   Usually this means that I even do the drawing with a brush in paint but in this instance, I did a quick sketch with a crayon to get the drawing and proportions correct.

Alla prima allows an overall command of the whole picture because everything is being painted ‘all at once’ in the same session. It calls for virtuoso handling of the material – a boldness that can bring out an inspired response.

The main focus of alla prima is edges: soft, blended ones contrasted with those sharply defined. However, being able to control these edges and the way the paint mixes require preparation of colors and a decisive handling of the material.

The composition of this painting is based on a principle called the “rule of thirds” in which the focus or emphasis of the painting is brought off center so it is a bit more interesting. In this painting you’ll see that the smoker’s head is in the upper right quarter of the image rather than dead center.  I also thought that the asymmetrical quality of the composition made this painting have a better flow.

I’ve also introduced some non-local colors into this painting.  The blues and grays, especially in the hair are colors one wouldn’t expect to find in those areas.  This is a technique that the Impressionists used in their paintings quite a bit.

I’ve also attempted to use thick quick calligraphic brushwork to make the textures more engaging and descriptive.  I use different textures and brushworks for different areas.  I’ve also layered the paint and in some places used plastering knives to skip coat the paint over areas and pencils and the back of the brush to etch in hair like textures. 

This is painted on a canvas panel.  Why do I paint on canvas panel? Mainly for the durability.  Canvas panels are made with a rigid core with canvas glued directly to the rigid base.  Unlike stretched canvas, boards warp less and expands and contracts less.  It’s sturdier to ship and will endure the heat and cold better so the paint will crack and chip less than a stretched canvas which flexes and changes as in different temperatures and environments.

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