I begin each painting with a drawing on the painting surface, an elaborate contour drawing that provides the initial structure. Then I apply a wash of colour to produce a warm underpainting. After that, I mix oil paint colours in response to my source photo, aiming to develop one area of the painting before moving to another, and beginning with an area that seems to be key in informing the rest of the piece. If the plan works, my initial colour choices stay as I make them.
This one has plans of its own. I’m not getting quite the value changes and contrast I was looking for. Some of the initial drawing needed to be changed. And even though almost all of the underpainting colour is gone, I still can’t quite tell what the piece will look like when that colour isn’t there to influence all the others.
With this post series on the development of a painting, I’m exploring the sharing of unfinished work with all its questions and uncertainties. Because art is not about appearing never to have them.
If you feel like it, I’d love to see what you’re working on.
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