January 11, 2014

1st Stage

I notice that a lot of artists like to show the various stages that their paintings take as it progresses.

I don't know that I'm accomplished or advanced enough that anyone would get anything out of seeing how i progress through a painting, but for what it's worth (and my own edification) I'm including this painting to show how I'll be approaching this one in particular. 

First off, to let you know this painting is from a photograph that I took of a gentleman at the Malvern Great Trails Festival this past year. It was a quick snapshot with my phone and the color and clarity were not great, but I think I can still work with it. So I thought the best thing to do was to try a preliminary color study to work out some issues. This image is my color rough/study. You'll notice that there are some little gaps in paint coverage, but I think through this I will be able to tell where this paining could use either some strengthening of color or some increased contrast, as the photograph itself kind of flattened much of the value variation.

It's interesting. I did this rough in around 2 hrs., but even though it's not the finished product there actually are some things I like about it. For one thing, not having the (self-imposed) pressure of knowing that it's going to be a finished piece really frees you up. Consequently you paint a little more boldly. It's important, I think, to remember not only the lessons of "how to" paint, but also how to feel when you paint. Relax! Have fun! 

After all it's not brain surgery.

Stay tuned for the finish to come.

Old Gent
 Color Study on Canvas Board - 8" x 10"


  1. Chris, I think artists like to see how others handle the approach. Getting glimpse of how the painting progresses helps give the viewer a sense of development.
    I belong to a site that has weekend drawing/painting events. You have a week to finish a painting that is chosen from 16 ref photos that the host for the week puts up. Two hours into the painting you snap a picture of it then finish the painting. Both photos are posted on the site so others can see how you approached it which helps all artists. A big help for beginners to intermediate artists. They can show their photos and can compare their start to other artists who worked on the same ref-photo that are perhaps more accomplished.
    Its where I first picked up a paintbrush and learned to get comfortable with the paint, as well as have fun doing it. :)

    1. That's interesting Catherine. Where would I find this website? I'd like to check it out.

    2. The site is at http://www.wetcanvas.com its one of the largest online sites for artists. The weekend drawing is not the only forum.. oil painting, marketing, color theory, pastels, figure drawing, critique sections, composition, watercolor,.. Name it and its there.
      The weekend drawing forum url is http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=133 You will see the link "Sticky WDE IMAGES here: Jan 10 -17 2014" click on it and you will see the images for this past weekend. Click on any of the links under it and most will be the artists works for that weekend. Usually about 30 or 40 artists participate.