10x12 oil on panel
I frequently post work in progress on my Facebook page, but haven't done so here in awhile. I am working on paintings for my "First Impressions" show which will be at Tidewater Gallery opening June 15th.
I still work with my kitchen timer as a way to get that initial impression sketched down as quickly as possible. Once I have the big shapes massed in, I can work as long as I like modifying those shapes and working them into smaller divisions. I like the looseness and variety of brushwork that I get during the quick block in phase, its all about the energy and excitement of inspiration. I get my idea down before any external distractions can pull me away and before I analyze and question the idea to death.
I don't spend a lot of time after the timer goes off. For small works, I often stop there and love the results. But with larger works, I will go into the focal area and make more sense of things and get some nice hard or soft edges and modify colors and shapes. You can see the difference in the figure above... when the timer went off, I had the big shapes there, but spent some time bringing that figure out of the dark. In the background, I only added a few suggestions of the door, the door frame and the lamp - the rest was left alone after the first mad rush.
I'm not sure I explain this well... but it works so well for me. I find if I don't stop and paint what first inspires me, and if I spend too long composing, drawing, analyzing, etc. then I lose the "vision." The only preparation I make is to draw an X across the board and use a viewfinder with 2 strings likewise, or draw those lines across my photo reference to give me a way to measure quickly. I recently got the MVP viewfinder (scroll down on her page) from the fabulous Peggi Kroll Roberts and its pretty neat - but a whole gird is more time consuming. Maybe a few dots could mark those lines... will give that a try perhaps tomorrow.