Raheem Nelson

Kiss of Life

One thing I started to take on in this series of paintings is cropping. Each painting is inspired by photo reference from a recent photoshoot Rahisha and I created. Usually I paint the entire picture without making adjustments. This time I decided to take one piece of the reference photo and focus on that to create the painting. Consider it downsizing. As I stated in an earlier post each painting focuses on a different aspect of my girlfriend, Rahisha and our relationship together. 


This piece is about her role as a mother. Rahisha’s daughter, Desiree is a talented singer, actress and model who I’ve had the honor of getting to know. Now, I’m in a role where I am a stepfather to her daughter and it’s like a badge of pride for me. Being in a relationship with Rah also means having a relationship with her daughter. This has been new territory for me but in a way I was ready for it. 


Before my job at ImageThink I worked for New Haven Public Schools for over a decade. I don’t have biological kids of my own but there is something said about the bond that forms between teacher and student. I’m starting to actually feel like an adult because of these new responsibilities. 


Aside from that, let me talk about the work I put in. The painting was initially made with a sketch with the 6B Pencil, blocked in the colors with the turpentine brush and blended everything with the flat brush. (which is my new personal favorite blending tool.) I made a point of making the red roses vibrant to draw the eye to the center of the painting. Art created using Procreate on iPad Pro.

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