On my way home from Crossfit I was thinking about last night painting and what I wanted to accomplish with tonight’s painting. I knew that I wanted to get the drawing better, and that I wanted to work on it longer. One thing that I have mentioned in the past was longevity of my painting sessions and how I wanted to increase the time spent on all my pieces. It suddenly dawned on me that if I wanted to increase the length of time I was in front of the canvas I needed to make it the best experience I could. So, I pulled up my comfy work chair, an easel with a mirror, an easel with my canvas and a couple of my favorite beverages. I was super comfortable and that quickly transferred to calm deliberate thought about what I was working on. I don’t want to attribute all of the success on this painting to my comfortable position but I must say that it had a big part to play. 


I started this painting much like I started the one last night, with a reductive method. Only problem was that this canvas was layered with Gesso that quickly began to soak up my wash. This will be the last time I use this Gesso. In fact I much prefer the canvas how it comes from the manufacturer. I have a couple more of these canvases that I need to work through but after that my life will get much easier as I will not have to Gesso each one several times and sand in between coats.


After the reductive start, which didn’t turn out so well, I started with the largest most easily recognizable feature of mine, my forehead. What can I say, its large and it has a fairly simple shape. From here I was able to establish an accurate peace of the painting which I based all other drawing and value upon. Everything fell into place after that.


The Setup



  • Session: 360
  • Work: 349
  • Width: 9"
  • Height: 12"
  • Medium: Oil
  • Location: Self portrait in apartment
  • Art Time: 2
  • Creative Time:



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Chris Beaven

I am an Artist and a programmer currently living in the amazing state of Washington. I have a passion for art, but I'm stubborn as hell with it. My day is complete only when I do some piece of art each day, no matter how small. "There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."