The Obedient One (surreal painting) | Laura Kranz
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The Obedient One (surreal painting)

He ventures onward,

Invading darkness with a crimson creed.

Though madness beckons with the songs of slain,

His feet are forward, and his heart is true.

So blaze a trail, and blaze it well,

With fire stronger than flames of hell.

Your sacrifices were not in vain,

But I have called you to a different plane.


My strong protection is stronger still

You couldn’t lose it and you never will.

For I am with you, though you stand alone

Below the kingdom that was your own,

Where you shall linger, and you shall stand

Until I send you the special one.


Well done, my good and faithful servant.

Painting specs

Title: The Obedient One
Dimensions: 4′ x 3′
Materials: Acrylic paint, charcoal, and gel medium on canvas
Series: Part of the collection Lest More Navigate; created as part of my body of work in 2011.

About The Obedient One

The Obedient One is a large surreal painting that was first displayed as part of the collection Lest More Navigate. Now it’s part of my personal collection. I use it to make sure anyone who breaks into my house immediately knows they are in a bad place, and they should leave.

I mentioned that I used charcoal in The Obedient One. What I didn’t mention is that I only used it for about 15 minutes of the entire process, which was at the very beginning.

While getting the idea down on the canvas (an idea involving principle #7 in my list of tips for getting surreal art ideas), I discovered that you can pretty effectively sketch on canvas with compressed charcoal and water. The water turns the black dust into more of a paint-like material that makes it easy to swipe in large areas that you intend to make dark later. But without the hassle of squirting out any paint onto a palette or mixing colors.  Your art teacher might not recommend the approach but I find it quite effective and think you should give it a shot. ;)

The painting is on a four-foot-wide canvas. You’ll notice I maintained a lot of the dripping paint and rough brushstrokes for a very non-polished feel. I really prefer a style of painting that leaves a lot of the evidence of the process that went into the work still available to the viewer.

This is also a painting style I use in the following pieces:

… to name a few.

Here’s a shot of the charcoal and water base layer after 15 minutes of sketching.

And here’s a photo of The Obedient One hanging in a Colorado Springs coffee shop.

Check out more creature art

Take a look at more art pieces based on imaginary creatures.

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