Saturday, January 18, 2014

More or Less

This 30 paintings in 30 days is not exactly as it sounds. Many of you know that I generally do not work fast and I like details. One of the reasons I signed up to do this challenge was to help me work each day, to loosen up a little, and to reintroduce myself to oils.

In getting into the oils I found that like pastels I work better with a abstract background. If I try drawing or painting directly from life or pictures, I see too much information. I get overwhelmed with all of the details, too many plants, too many leaves, too many rocks, you get the picture. I have started a piece in plein air and found it looks awful. If working in pastels I literally rub it all together to create a background. From there I can either block it with a light drawing using either black or white charcoal and my handy eraser starts to pull the lights out. Then I go for the blues and purples adding in the dark areas. At this point I am ready to get to the serious work, the details.

With oil painting it is kind of the same, I take what is left on the palette at the end of the day and tone canvases. What ever colors are there become the background. When they dry in a couple days, I look at them to see what images will they become. That is how the rhino and elephant pieces came about. I try to use the background as part of the painting and not hide it all. Once, I lightly draw in the image, I block in colors and finish with the details. Although, once I block in colors I sometimes need to wait to add the lights and details another day.

What it all comes down to for me is I more or less get a piece done in a day or three. So, the painting a day may have been started earlier in the week. The gorilla piece was a toned paper that had been sitting in my flat files for literally years waiting for me to see what it would be, one morning as I was pulling out works in progress, picture references, and that piece of toned paper, it all came together. Once I got it started it truly was done in a day but for me that does not often happen.

Just thought I would explain some of these crazy processes as so many have ask, how can you do a painting a day. Well, more or less, getting a painting done each day but it may not have been started that same day.

To view all the painting to date, you can go to my web site:
To see all the artists taking place in this challenge click on the 30-30 link on this blog and it will take you to Leslie Saeta's blog and you can scroll through each day, hundreds of paintings that are posted.

Day 18 - "Black Swan" pastel on black paper, I started this piece some time ago with a light sketch and then it just sat for a long while. Over a couple of days I finally got it done. It is a small piece 4x6 inches.

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