FRIDAY SNEAK PEEK: usually I show close-up portions of paintings as sneak peeks here, but this week I decided to give you the full view. This photo shows a painting that is about 1/3 of the way to completion. Here you see the background, my green Bay blanket almost fully shaded and defined with the figure still in the grisaille (or monochrome underpainting) stage. I begin most of my more representational pieces with and underpainting, sometimes in grey tones and sometimes with a coloured ground. The underpainting acts as a blueprint for layers of colour to come. It lays the groundwork for tones and dimension; lights, darks and highlights. The background layer, Bay blanket, now has four layers, meaning I have painted the background entirely, four times now. An underpainting of greys, then three layers of colour. The figure will undergo the same process until I have it just right.
This piece will change dramatically from this point, with the addition of collage and that final bit of magic that comes after staring at the piece for three days from my burnt orange velvet chair.
The initial plan for the piece will be torn and disposed of and the painting will tell me where to head next, this is when the magic happens and solutions to problems encountered as I paint allow me to move forward. This stage is like taking that toothpaste tube, when you are nearly out of toothpaste, and no back up tube. You take that tube and flatten it pressing all you can towards that opening, then you fold back that head of the tube using your fingers and thumb and you see some poke out, quickly to be sucked back in when you go to grab your brush. You try again this time pushing extra hard until a tiny blob rolls out and over the side of the opening, you scrape your toothbrush up the side and over the top grabbing the last little bit. Success! That is how I feel when I push through the final stages of a painting.
Now, back to painting.