I can’t help but take my time on this figure in oil. I’m not sure why I’ve become so detailed in this painting but I’m planning on seeing it through to the end. I hope that my next session will be the last.
The reason why I’m working so slow is because I’m focusing hard on the process. That may seem obvious but it is not. For many artists, myself included, it is easy to lose focus and begin to apply paint randomly. In order for each turn of the form to be successful I need to follow a repeating pattern.
- recognize what is needed for the next stroke, such as a color or value change
- mix the correct value / color
- load the brush depending on opacity
- determine the best angle for the stroke
- apply the paint
- sit back away from painting a bit and compare
It may seem like a lot but this is accomplished quickly. It only takes a few seconds to recognize, mix and apply but within each stroke drawing, value, edges and color should be determined. Eventually, if I get enough of these strokes correct I will have a very successful painting. Well, at least in the reproduction of what I see it will be successful, I’m leaving out composition and concept here.
The more I focus on this process the more skilled I will become at it. Plus I’m sure to get faster, maybe not with the process itself but with the consistency that I make good decisions and that transfers into speed in the end.
I’ve noticed during today’s painting session that blending one stroke into the other is not necessary in most cases. As I worked on the left side of the buttocks I was able to turn the form with changes in the value and color of the paint but without any blending. When you step away it looks blended but in fact each stroke is clearly defined.