This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Success....The Beginning and the End....or Vice Versa..
Gospel Singer 11x14 oil
This painting was done on the 13th....the day I threw out the failed landscape. I really needed to prove to myself that I could still paint. It took about 3 1/2 hours to complete and my feet did not touch the ground the whole time I painted it! What I mean by that...is...I was in the zone. You know...that feeling when your left brain stays out of the way and you seem to be on automatic and the decision making process is a snap. You know exactly what the next stroke is you know exactly how to simplify when it is needed...all the color choices and values move in the right direction.....and.....you know exactly when to stop...without someone standing right next to you trying to break your arm so you don't mess it up! Now before you start thinking I know everything...I don't! I am sur there are some things that may need to be fine tuned.....but for myself and my eye....this is what I want! This is how I intended this painting to look. No tight detail in the cloth, or much of anyplace else for that matter. I believe I have gotten the strong values and confident brushwork that I so love. The color is a tad on the warm side but that seems to happen when transferring a painting to the computer...and of course there is always a certain depth that escapes ones viewing a painting on a screen in the digital world. The darks are thin and not clumsy and dead and the lights are thick and applied with a knife and then manipulated with the brush in some areas. I have tried to loose a lot of edges where I find it important and keep the stronger ones where they also need to be. So yes...I am pretty damn happy with this one. The practice is paying off and I will soon begin some larger ones for my upcoming solo show.
Here is the loose start so you can see some of how I begin. There is a quick sketch to make sure proportions are accurate and then drawn with paint using lines rather than curves. Below the painting you will see my color charts that I made some years ago.....I still use them but find that I intuitively know the colors I need more often than not...but keep them handy to check back to. The charts are from Richard Schmids book "Alla Prima; Everything I Know About Painting". By the way I am anxiously awaiting his new book, out in 2009 "The Landscape Book". His first book was somewhat expensive....but so worth it...and I expect the second one will be equally as good. There is...in my mind...no greater all around modern master than Schmid! He can paint anything!
I always start at the center of interest and move out from there...painting little pieces of color and value and making sure the shapes and temperatures are right. I paint in the background on portraits very soon in the beginning to correct any shapes in the features that might be off. The small bottle of liquid is a glazing medium and works very well for keeping the darks from being obnoxiously thick. It also keeps the paint from drying flat and dead and keeps the paint open for a longer amount of time as I try to paint Alla Prima (all in one sitting) mostly. The small box with the oriental design is a magnifying glass to look at reference material when I need a closer look.
So there you have it...let me hear what you think..!
Loving the continuing challenge,