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Marianne Morris Art Work - Louis Armstrong

Follow the Art Work of Marianne Morris 12 Art Works subject : Historical Jazz Musician

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Armstrong was truly THE jazz great, a musician with a gift unlike those who came before. He is credited with shifting the focus from the band to the soloist, elevating jazz from a fad to an art form. He was one of the first truly popular black performers, rising to hugely influential status in an era when African-Americans were treated as second-class citizens.

There are many photos of Armstrong floating around, most from his later years of performing. My painting is formed from a composite of a few photos, one main one for the pose, and then a few others adding in details of the clothes and the trumpet, along with reversing the clock a bit. I wanted to paint him as a young man, in the early years of the jazz era. I'm not really a portraitist, but these musicians were so influential and inspiring, I thought I'd give it go.


Step 1

Marianne Morris Art

I almost always work with transparent paints. I love the way I can build depth in the piece by layering. Starting in black and working over top with white and transparent colour gives me a feel I can't get any other way.


Next Upload 13.04.2014

Follow up Step by Step Art Work " Louis Armstrong "

Louis Armstrong
Marianne Morris
Louis Armstrong


3 Presents for our visitors.......

What you have to do is to get involved and become active in the process that Marianne Morris is showing by putting questions directly to her regarding this artwork , sending us a comment regarding the Luis Armstrong's music and/or life, a nice story you know about him or a moment from your life that is connected in a way with his music.

The nicest 3 comments and most active visitors will receive each 1 handsigned limited print with the painting ( Louis Armstrong ) we show now under ATW.


Andreea Andrei ( Team Global Vernissage )


Step 2

Marianne Morris Art

A new item in the painter's toolbox is the paint pen. I recently got a couple, and I have to say, I'm loving them. It's standard acrylic paint in a pen form… I can draw on a canvas creating marks I have a hard time getting with a brush. I know I'm going to go over these lines with colour, but I'm hoping some of them will still be visible on the finished piece.


Next Upload 16.04.2014

Step 3

Marianne Morris Art

Next up is white paint applied to brighten areas. I always have music on here… I listen and try to feel the music, then translate that feeling into marks on my canvas. Where the white is will be the brighter areas, the black will remain dark under the transparent colour.


Next Upload 18.04.2014

Step 4

Marianne Morris Art

I add the transparent paint over top of the white and black, as well as over each other. For this piece I chose a palate of yellow and orange with a turquoise, giving me a lovely range of tones. This is only one of the base layers, but I want to get the feel of the piece here, before I go ahead and add in the figure.


Next Upload 22.04.2014

Step 5

Marianne Morris Art

I draw out Louie, using my photos for reference. I try to keep it fairly simple, but make sure the details are accurate… if I get the anatomy wrong at this stage it will be difficult to fix later. Of course, the beauty of acrylic is that you can always paint over anything, and sometimes it is necessary to paint over areas that aren't working. Time spent at this stage will save me time later on.


Next Upload 24.04.2014

Step 6

Marianne Morris Art

I use my drawing to make a mask that will block out areas on my canvas. It's just an outline… for this image I'm not going to cut masks of multiple shapes because I'm confident I can paint them in accurately.


Next Upload 27.04.2014

Step 7

Marianne Morris Art

I take the mask I just cut and tape it to my canvas, adjusting the composition until I get him in the perfect position. I can see through the paper (this is why i use tracing paper), so I can get the general idea of where the light and dark areas are going to hit the figure.



Next Upload 29.04.2014

Step 8

Marianne Morris Art

I use a piece of white chalk to lightly mark on my canvas where Louie is going to be. I want the most interesting area to be inside this shape… parts of it will be painted over, but as I try to keep details minimal, I know much of this will show. I can see how my light and dark areas are going to be distributed, so now is the time to make a change if I want to



Next Upload 03.05.2014

Step 9

Marianne Morris Art

So, there are areas here that I don't think are quite right. I want the area where his hands will sit to be lighter, and the trumpet bell looks like it could be a bit more interesting. I rework these areas until I'm satisfied it's going to give me the look i'm after.



Next Upload 05.05.2014

Step 10

Marianne Morris Art

I replace the mask on the canvas, and tape it down securely. I will remove the tape one piece at a time as I paint around the figure, and I don't want it moving in the meantime.



Next Upload 08.05.2014

Step 11

Marianne Morris Art

With the mask in place, I paint around the figure. I've used white around the face, and a dark blue around the trumpet. Unfortunately I've covered up the lovely swirly shape in the top left corner… that was unintentional, but the values are working and I don't really need the detail up there, so I leave it.




Next Upload 10.05.2014

Step 12

Marianne Morris Art

Back to my white chalk, I carefully transfer my drawing onto my canvas. I try to get this as accurate as possible. Some details I can just wing without the reference, but I want to make sure the important parts, his face, hands and trumpet, are correct.




Next Upload 13.05.2014

Step 13

Marianne Morris Art

Here is where I'm starting to build up the form. I usually switch to fluid acrylics at this stage, as they apply very smoothly and I can smudge the edges with my fingers. The bright highlights are important, and then i will tone them down a bit with transparent colour over top.




Next Upload 15.05.2014

Step 14

Marianne Morris Art

I add in some very dark darks. I've mixed a dark blue with my orange, so it is black yet still a colour. These will be the darkest areas in the painting.




Next Upload 18.05.2014

Step 15

Marianne Morris Art

I add in some very dark darks. I've mixed a dark blue with my orange, so it is black yet still a colour. These will be the darkest areas in the painting.




Next Upload 20.05.2014

Step 16

Marianne Morris Art

The bell of the trumpet is pretty important here… it is the part most in the foreground of the piece. I paint in some lights and darks, but at this point I realize that the perspective in my drawing was off. It looks like it is at an incorrect angle.




Next Upload 22.05.2014

Step 18

Marianne Morris Art

Laying tracing paper over my old drawing, I redraw the trumpet, correcting the angle of the bell. It is considerably smaller than in the first drawing… by studying my reference photos and measuring proportions, I realize the scale was off as well as the angle. I lay my paper over my painting in progress, and I can see that this will work much better.




Next Upload 25.05.2014

Step 19

Marianne Morris Art

I paint colour over the area I had previously painted white. I try to keep the area interesting, knowing that much of this will show in the finished piece.




Next Upload 26.05.2014

Step 20

Marianne Morris Art

I paint in the dark background around the trumpet. I think this works much better now.




Next Upload 28.05.2014

Step 21

Marianne Morris Art

I add in some detail into the trumpet, and some finishing touches elsewhere on the piece. Now I can add my hanging hardware, sign it and give it a final coat of varnish to protect it and bring out the colours!

Tomorrow you see the final Painting





Next Upload 29.05.2014


final finished art work " Louis Armstrong "

Marianne Morris Art

Thanks for your time watching this Process

3 Presents for our visitors.......

What you have to do is to get involved and become active in the process that Marianne Morris is showing by putting questions directly to her regarding this artwork , sending us a comment regarding the Luis Armstrong's music and/or life, a nice story you know about him or a moment from your life that is connected in a way with his music.

The nicest 3 comments and most active visitors will receive each 1 handsigned limited print with the painting ( Louis Armstrong ) we show now under ATW.


Andreea Andrei ( Team Global Vernissage )


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THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME Please look at Marianne's next Art Work "Ella Fitzgerald"