Thursday, November 4, 2010
A Fireside Chat
I don't know about where you live, but today was a nasty one. A cold, angry rain has been falling almost all day. Tough day to warm the old studio. I have windows on three of the four walls, which on a sunny day can be tough with all the light pinging around, but on cloudy days like today, I miss the solar heat. To make it worse, while the window panes are really cool, being old wavy glass and all, they are very drafty. You can't keep a candle lit next to one of those bad boys. But, I'm nice and toasty now. Champ and I are sitting next to a roaring fire in my old-fashioned parlor stove. Well, I shouldn't say old-fashioned. When it was new, it was the fashion.
I have alluded to the painting I have been working on in a few posts, but I have yet to show anything about it, so I thought I'd update you on its status. You may recall, it's rather large, coming in at 3 feet by 4 feet. After doing a few hundred 11X14's and 14X18's, that's huge to me. I also wanted to see if taking my time can make a noticeable difference in the outcome.
This is it drawn out in pencil on the canvas. From here, I went over the lines with ink. Sounds crazy, but I didn't want to lose the drawing when I washed the paint over it. On smaller pieces I spray charcoal fixative, then I give it a spray of retouch varnish. This was too big for that method. Remember, my concept was a sunrise in the back, work in the foreground. Kind of like a lobsterman mullet: Business up front, party in the back! But I digress...
So, that's me posing above. Below is the painted version of my pose.
Tons of work left to do on the boat, sky, various objects-- you name it, and this part isn't done, either. I have to keep focused on just the part of the painting I'm doing, and not get overwhelmed by how much I have left, or I'll stress-out!
Here's a close-up of that figure, so far:
The background under painting is really just to remind me of what I want to do later. I am also using a combo of knife and brush for the entire painting. It seems that for several paintings, though, my initial attempts have been lousy, and I've had to struggle to get what I had originally envisioned. I think that's one of the reasons I like to work fast. I simply don't want to forget what I was doing! Now, I know there are tons of painters who like to let the spirit move them as they paint, and just see what happens. I'm not one of them. I get enough of that in my golf: I go where the ball leads me. I don't "hit and hope" when it comes to my painting. I work toward a pre-determined end result.
Well, the beauty about tomorrow is that it promises to be a better day. My studio should warm up nicely, and I'll continue to peck away at this piece. But for now, it's time to put another log on the fire.