Whenever you feel like you just don’t have any more to give, this print is for you!
Getting Blood from a Stone started after finding this terror-inducing hypodermic syringe off of Ebay. I assumed, given its size, that the syringe was veterinary in use but a physician that collects antique medical tools told me that it might have indeed been used on people. Apparently, some of the older medicines - like those for syphilis - were very thick and had to be administered very slowly and painfully through a large needle. *shivers*
On top of a stylized, abstract background, I employ stark shadows to kick up the theatrics in the piece. (If anything deserves a dramatic treatment, it is a giant metal syringe!) As you can see, the shadow work adds intrigue to an already dramatic subject.I also kept the palette of Getting Blood From a Stone purposely limited - this neutral colorway made the red in the syringe stand out all the more.
One key to this image was having stones that were visually appealing - different from each other, yet pleasing together. My river rock landscaping was plundered accordingly. As for the “blood” in the syringe, I used the classic Hollywood standby: ketchup! My studio is a messy place.
To see more details of Getting Blood from a Stone, please visit the Richard Hall Studio on Instagram. I have step-by-step videos from the staging of the painting to finished work of art.