More Focus On Painting Setup and a Wizard Bookend

The last few paintings that I have done lacked focus and direction. Basically I pic still life items at random every night and paint them, but I’m wanting a clearer direction moving forward and I think I can achieve this through more focus on painting setup.

Tonight I still chose an item at random but instead of moving quickly into painting I decided to focus more on composition and my setup process to fully prepare me for the painting. I was hoping that a more thorough preparation would ultimately result in a better painting. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case for this painting, I may have chosen a bad subject.

focus on painting setup with thumbnailsAfter setting up the still life I did a few thumbnail sketches to focus on composition. This lead me to many edits to the still life including the removal of several items. It took me about an hour just to get this to a point were I felt like I had a good idea to move forward. Eventually I chose a more dramatic lighting scenario.
focus on painting setup, basic value blockin For the first 30 minutes of the painting I focused on drawing and value. I wanted to make sure that the composition was still working after a quick block-in.

focus on painting setup, still life setup Here is the setup of the painting and my still life. I stopped after 2 hours on this painting as I didn’t like where it was going. I realized that I would have to work several more hours on this painting to get it to a finishing point, but I wasn’t interested enough in the subject to warrant the time spent.

focus on painting setup, subject closeupOverall the end result of the painting does have a nice dramatic feel to it, and I don’t think I could have arrived at that without more focus on painting setup but I still feel like I need more direction for my artwork. I have been thinking about it for days but I need to give this much more thought before I decided on a clear direction for all my artwork.

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