Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Still Painting Everyday...

If you have noticed a "slowing" in my postings, it is because my time is almost completely eaten up by a 32" x 40" commissioned oil portrait that will take the bulk of the rest of this week to complete. I am really enjoying this larger piece after a year of postcard-sized paintings. I wasn't sure I would. At the risk of sounding unsure of myself, to the contrary I knew it was just going to take some mental gearing-up, and didn't want that process to take too very long.

Frankly, the larger size kind of shocked me when I set it on the easel and got the drawing done. Doing mostly small works over the year, I had forgotten what such a large canvas 'felt' like staring me in the face... so much so that, in addition to the 8" x 10" sketch I did earlier, I decided to do a same-size practice (shown above) just to whip my brushes into shape and let them know we're going to be covering a lot more canvas-real-estate over the next few weeks, and dragging lot more paint here and there.

Fortunately they were listening, and caught on quickly.
Actually, the final painting, underway, is larger than the sample shown above. That canvas, shown with the quick charcoal sketch on it, and then rapidly painted, is on some cheaper canvas stock I had laying around, stretched on a smaller frame than the final, but the head and hands — my area of concentration — are same-size themselves. The scribbling off to the lower right was going to be a study of the lower hand, with the canvas rotated to 90-degrees CW... but I decided, rather absentmindedly, to just continue painting freehand down to the bottom instead of rotating to my earlier drawing.

What did I learn? Hands are harder than faces, for me. That hand area was a total mess for at least three hours, including an hour's work I just wiped right off. I guess the best part of being an old, seasoned painter is that you just know you'll get it eventually, so 'just hang in there.'
I'll be posting "segments" as I approach finish.

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