This is the last painting in my Post Web Series. Why the last? Life happens and we move on.
This work was all about control beginning with the drawing and ending with my last brush stroke. The first three images in this series was about randomness and how to manipulate that randomness into something not random. Does that make sense or just me sounding artsy fartsy, regardless I’m saying it anyway.
The beauty of just doing what comes to mind at the moment is easy and hard at the same time. A person could theoretically work on the same painting for an eternity (or however long they live) using this method.
This painting was a lot of work, not so much technically but rather “sticking to it”. The composition, the lighting, the paint application and the final outcome was established very early in the process. Sticking to the process and resisting the temptation to squeeze a blob of paint onto the canvas and change course was always there.
I persevered – got ‘er done. The final image is OK – I guess!
In the first 3 paintings of my “Post Web” series I have been exploring shapes, lighting, form and composition. This included such strategies as paint pouring, paint dribbles and closing my eyes and hoping for the best (sometimes I peeked).
This painting was all about starting from a fixed drawing. However, the drawing itself was not planned. The drawing was done directly on the canvas. I used a black “Sharpie” to create the drawing and composition. This would leave little room for corrections once I began painting.
Step 1: I start by laying down left over paint from the previous painting. I next created my drawing directly over the background using a black felt tip marker. My composition was likely influenced by the background colours, shapes and values.
Step 2: now that the drawing is completed I start to “fill in” the colours. I identified “bigger” shapes and then added colour and values to the shapes within those bigger shapes. My colours are pre-mixed in small containers which I can seal with a lid. Of course now it looks like I’m just doing a paint by number. Fortunately I’m the one determining the colours.
Step 3: most of the individual shapes have been painted. I also start adding suggestions of shading and highlighting on those individual shapes. At this point I am starting to realize that I have a lot of very small shapes to deal with. Hmm … what to do – paint the background a lighter value was my decision!
Step 4: not only do I have a lot of small tiny shapes I also have some big ones. Originally I was going to paint individual shapes with solid brush strokes the way I did it in Post Web 3. That won’t work here. I stuck with adding some new shapes to the background area after I repainted it a much darker value.
Step 5: I made a decision on the larger shapes. I would use fairly small single strokes of paint in the bigger shapes while letting the shapes influence the direction of those strokes.
Step 6: at this stage I had been concentrating for some time on the small shapes in the foreground. To give myself a break I decided to add more shapes to the background. I want them to remain flat, subtle and yet still interesting as part of the larger background shape.
Step 7: finally I settled on how to finish the background. Now I have to refine the foreground shapes by applying multiple layers of glazing to create a sense of depth and form. I alternated between using red and blue glazes.
Step 8: the image at this point is mostly finished. I just need to refine the values, break out the black marker, sign and clear coat it. This painting turned out to be quite tedious. I’m not sure if I will continue along this path or not. My next painting will answer that question.