There is a lot of thought that goes into a painting, isn't there? Most people just don't realize all that takes place before paint hits the canvas. And your paintings are always soooo detailed!
Thanks for the progress shots Gary and for letting us in on your thought processes. These early stages in developing a painting idea are an integral part of making art and are too often glossed over, with attention to technique frequently overshadowing the thought that goes into composition.On the recommendation of Dean Richards, I hunted down a copy of Paul Calle's excellent book, "The Pencil" in which the artist describes how he draws the individual elements (in your case, the deer) onto paper, then cuts them out and moves them around until he's come up with a pleasing composition. He even uses a photocopier to enlarge or reduce the size of one or more of them as he experiments with their final position. It sounds like a worthwhile approach, and would definitely be easier than sketching directly onto the painting surface only to have second thoughts and be faced with the task of rubbing it out and starting again!Great stuff Gary, and I'm looking forward to looking on as you develop this painting further.
excellent observation, Peter. I always tell my students that the painting part actually becomes more mechanical than anything. Not that there are not further thoughts as one progresses but the initial stages of idea to drawings is like a blueprint for a building. Without that the building has a hard time standing. I too, as seen in the second set of drawings here sketch out and then move things around on the canvas. The bottom left deer was originally to go a little higher and the deer above it looking to the left-higher still but it just wasn't working. With thought to the snow and sagebrush I will have them in I think the bottom deer solidifies as a solid foundation for what is to come. That may not prove to be but we'll see. Next step is to get some acrylic on as an underpainting. Just to block out the drawing and a little color to look like maybe I might know what in the world this fool is doing.
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