Friday, April 01, 2011


It was a busy week painting for me in school. I finished another painting for my wall and started another even bigger one in my class with Mike Gallagher. This painting is on another wood support but this time we didn't have time to prime the wood with oil or use canvas so I just shellaced it. I have never painted on wood before like this and there is some distortion going on since the support is so huge and the class is really cramped.

I am posting in this blog on my process on doing my last painting which for now I am titling Bagman. Like the first painting I worked from a big sketch in oil on paper. This idea or image came to me in a dream and i dashed out a quick doodle the next day, then I actually dressed myself up in trashbags and filmed myself walking about my living room, much to the horror of my cats. taking those screen grabs I did another oil sketch on paper. this was my primary guide to the larger painting. I would only refer back to the photo ref after I had worked on the painting for a while and gotten the feeling I wanted.

like the last painting I worked on a support of canvas stretched over Luann, then one coat of acrylic gesso and then I primed it using Windor-newton Oil Primer. hen that dried I borrowed the projector from the school library and projected my sketch and roughly traced off my composition which you can see below.
Then using shellac I covered the entire canvas sealing in the drawing. It's not so clear from this photo, but I could still see the drawing. the main reason I wanted the shellac is to get that under-glow to come through the painting. Since the support is rigid and very solid I won't have to worry about any cracking of the shellac like I would on a regular canvas.
Here is a detailed photo of the main figure from my first strike at the painting. One of the things I try and do is to get as much done on a painting as I can in the first strike, the first session. I think then I have the drive, the passion, the paint lust and that for me is the most important part of the painting process. Especially on a large painting I want to go in high energy and strike it fast. Then I can always go back and adjust things, even repaint them entirely.
Here is the oil sketch that was my guide

Here is the painting after about 5 hours straight. The canvas is 4 x 4 so I massed in the large areas with a big palette knife and my biggest brushes.

The biggest struggle is the struggle I am searching through as a painter. I am trying to work looser but not slap-dash. I love Sargent and Rockwell and NC Wyeth, Vince Desiderio, and Fechin. Great drawing and great painting with detail and design working together to give you a feeling, more suggestion than literal. I don't always get it or am not sure, and that's a spot you don't solve until something feels right. I think that because i am a very flexible artist style wise by training I will be in this place for a while.

After the first day I hand my critics come in and give me some great feedback, especially Scott Noel and Renee Foulks. I spent two more days adjusting and repainting passages and areas.
The first strike of the painting above and the final painting below. I'll let it sit and go back at it with fresh eyes in a bit after I jump onto some more paintings this week. I think I'll do some smaller paintings next week in the rush to the ASE. I feel really pumped up now and on a roll and I want to keep that energy rolling off the brush.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Fantastic! I wish I can do what you can do.