After finishing my Artspeak entry number 01, "The Universe Awakens", I decided I would try to do another painting. This one is much larger and more ambitious.
My plan was to paint a painting based on a photo that I had snapped of my wife Amy shortly after we had moved into our condo. She had arisen one morning in her night gown and had gone to the window to look out at something. I saw her there framed in the window, and the light was very nice, so I grabbed my camera and took a quick shot. It was very spur of the moment.
Cut to 6 years later. I am rummaging around in my file folder of images I have wishfully named "Painting Ideas" (images I think would make nice paintings someday). This one is in it.
It occurs to me that this might be an image that would fit the Artspeak "Awaken"theme.
There were two blank 48" x 60" canvases at the church office, which belonged to my friend Kirsten. Since she is a young mother with 3 children and a job, and it was unlikely that she would be using either canvas anytime soon, and she graciously donated one of them to me.
This is the first time I have tried a painting quite this large in quite a long time.
First order of business was re-priming the canvas with several coats of gesso so that it was clean, and tight on the frame.
Next I printed out the photo on a piece of 8.5" x 11" paper and drew a grid of horizontal and vertical lines about 1 inch apart. I then calculated the size they would be on the large canvas and drew a corresponding grid on the canvas using a yardstick and a graphite stick. Then I sketched a cartoon of the image using the grid as my visual guide. Once I got that sketched in graphite, I started painting, roughing in the light and dark areas using white and black acrylic, to create some underlying tone.
Next I took some burnt sienna and started redrawing the details of the figure and background.
Then I started adding in some touches of color. Layering it in, in thinner, very liquid washes.
Then it was adding in the details, working from broader to finer areas.
Here is the palette, (an enameled meat tray)
In some cases, painting over the same areas multiple times. After about 3 full days worth of work this is where I am at. I am hoping to finish this up before the submission deadline of Tuesday, March 4.
Latest work, as of Thursday, March 7th. Looks like I will be working on this up until the last possible second!
Well, here it is, the final signed painting. Worked on until about 4:30 Friday.
Probably about 40 hours worth of work. I decided to title it simply "At the Window".
4 hours ago