Untitled, 36″ x 36″, oil on linen

So, here is day three of the painting.  After teaching classes on Thursday morning, I worked alongside a couple other artists, painting from the model.  Although the background is very simple, I spent just as much time on the background as on the figure.  I just had to figure out the correct value to place against the figure.  As the eye is drawn to contrast, it is important to carefully control the value of the background- if the contrast is unintentionally high, there will be an unintended focus.  If everything is in focus, then, ironically, there is no focus.  I wanted this painting to be about the calligraphy of line, and the calligraphy that runs from her forehead, down to her hand, and back up her right side.  To bring attention there, I allowed the highest contrast in this moment- the dark shadow is pitted against the light background. Had I placed a dark background against the light on left side of the figure, the eye would be drawn there- but I don’t want the eye to go there.  Is this confusing?  Simply put, painting is more about composing, than it is about observing.

You know, when I arrive home exhausted after a long day in the studio, my wife often ribs me and says “Oh, hard day of work?  Did you sprain your index finger, painting pretty colors?”  A friend shot this video of me in the Hampton Studio of Fine Art, hard at work.  I am posting it to clear my name, once and for all, and to show people what difficult work painting and teaching actually is.



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