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The Name of the Holy Spirit is Love

I stole the title whole cloth from a Thomas Aquinas essay. The focal point is the Dove Descending, a common Christian symbol of the Holy Spirit—El Greco uses it often. The greatest challenge in this piece was one of composition: how does one respectfully represent the Passion of Christ where Christ is not the central figure? I used sanguine Conté crayon to make a detailed underpainting, then layered on color using Prismacolor Nupastels. To give the Dove prominence, I painted it using bright red violets and ultramarine blues and white highlights and then employed a subdued, Rembrandt-like palette on the crucified Savior. The beams of the cross serve to frame the Dove and emphasize it further.

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