The WIP: Christmas Money

Welcome to another segment of, The Work In Progress. Another day gone by is another day closer to the 25th of December. “Christmas Money” shows a different perspective of this holiday that may already be integrated in our very lives.


To start, I sketched out different scenes and positions for my piece after having a general idea of what “Christmas Money” would be about. Once I found the best fit, I recruited a model to pose for me. While I probably could have done it without a model, much like in “The Dead,” I decided that this would need to have more of a human touch rather than an imagined one, especially for a deeper piece like this. From the sketchbook above, I tested out different colors, transparencies, and strokes. This helped to determine which colors and styles worked best with each other. I also printed out some references of army boots and baby faces to fine tune the emotional realm of this work.

The army boots would have mud painted on them to provide a contrast from the indoors and outdoors. The army boots also show that his line of work is different than that of a money grubber. There leaves an idea to the viewer that he’s definitely not a business man.

The baby faces were experiments to see which expression would be best fitting. In the picture above you can see the model’s general face, the shocked baby face, and the angry baby face. I decided to have a mix between the model’s general face and the shocked baby face to give off an expression which typical kids would make when opening up a Christmas card (assuming there’s money inside).


This style is a tad bit different than what I typically use, but for good reasons. Not only did I want to test my limitations, but also this grotesque and distorted style works very well with the subject matter. This piece is full of contrasts, and the distorted nature of the objects against the gentle scene of looking at money rather than at the card fits right in. While I don’t have many pictures along the way because I was too deep into the process, I will say that working on this became a great stepping stone for me, or in the least an informer to tell me how I should or shouldn’t bend my original style.

Please leave a comment below if you have any critiques or comments, or simply just LIKE and SHARE!

For more, visit Tristan’s Website

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