Sunday, March 31, 2013

Beat The Clock

As you may know, I am an indirect painter and love the look of my finished paintings because of the glazing and layering achieved over a period of days-even weeks.  So today I decided to put the timer on and paint a small 8x10 still life in two hours.  You may ask why would I do such a thing.  Keep reading and I will tell you at the end.

So to begin, I put together objects that I was very familiar with--tangerines, cloth, basket, and my favorite port wine bottle.
Step 1:  Sketch in the elements.
If the images look "sketchy" it's because I taped a piece of willow vine charcoal to the end of a long handled paint brush.  I love the looseness that it achieved and I was able to visually see my image from a distance.  I sprayed the finished sketch with a fixative.
Step 2: Add a toner of ultramarine blue and transparent red oxide.

I have such great hopes for the success and the clock shows only sixteen minutes have passed.
Step 3:  Block-In
Honestly, I would love to stop right now and let the colors set up before going on but I want to meet the challenge I have set for myself.  One issue here is the canvas surface.  I am painting on Centurion Oil Primed DLX linen and the paint is slipping around and not grabbing the surface.  Another reason I would like to stop but push on the clock is running and an hour has passed.
Step 4:  Layering background and work wet edges into wet edges. Add the cool grayed blue foreground.

Last stage:  Refinement which means check values in the white fabric, check edges, and develop the tangerines.  Also decide how much details the basket in the background needs.
Spent time on the bottle and the strong reflections from the tangerines.  Remember, reflections are never as bright and defined as the objects creating them.  A little more refining and I think I can call this done.
The clock says it has been roughly two hours.  It doesn't feel like what I am use to but I have to remember, it is alla prima.  Why did I do it?  I will be doing a demo in a couple of months at my gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas.  When you paint in the indirect method, it is difficult to demo unless you just demonstrate a part of the process.  Sorry for not blogging lately.  No excuses except I've been in the studio and didn't really have much to share. 

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