A Painting’s Progress
Here’s an example of how a painting comes together.
I’m skipping a lot of preparatory steps… I’ll blog about them next time!
I work on my paintings in stages, letting each layer dry before applying the next. Here’s the first layer:
I usually start by blocking in the darkest areas of the painting, just to give me some structure to follow. Notice that even from the very beginning I use my characteristic pointillist style dots.
My table, to the right of the easel, holds my palette (it’s the big white sheet of freezer paper taped onto the table). The photo I’m working from is also lying on the table. You can also see other photos taped up on the wall behind the easel. Those are for other paintings.
Now I’m ready to start adding other colors:
I’ve put in some of the lightest parts of this painting. Again, this helps me keep track of what goes where. The midtone areas get filled in next:
This stage takes a while. I’ll work on the painting for a while, then set it aside. I’ll come back to it in a few hours or the next day when it’s good and dry, and I can look at it with fresh eyes. I’ll add to it a little each day. This goes on for several days. If I get really stuck, I might even set it aside for several days or even weeks just to let my subconscious mind work on it.
When the painting is almost finished, I’ll often leave it alone for several days, propped up somewhere in my studio so that I can see it while doing other things. Progress can slow down a lot in the final stages as I mull over what the painting “needs” in order to pull it together.
Here’s the end result (picture taken in better light):
“Hills and Shadows”, 2007, 40×30″