Painting Progress

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Development of a Painting Documentation

My painting process combines both direct and indirect painting. I use many washes and layers in my work; it's a continuous editing process. I thought it might be interesting to show a painting from start to finish to give you insight into how I produce a painting. I try to combine the traditional way of painting with the drips brushwork found in the painterly abstraction of the mid twentieth century. More often than not, I will develope a naturalistic version of the painting and then overpaint and abstract the shapes. I find that this allows me to add the abstractions in the right places and allows me to retain the naturalistic information I would like to keep in the piece.

I normally start with a toned ground, here a wash of Venetian Red. As you can see, I'm not so concerned about an even ground. Very little if any of this wash will be visible in the final work, this just helps to keep the painting from being too stark right from the start. I have at least a rough thumbnail sketch to work from. Sometimes I will do many developmental drawings to work on a figure's pose. I try not to have anything set in stone before I start working in order to keep the painting fresh.

I've sketched the drawing with soft vine charcoal, then went over the drawing with a cool color wash. I do a good bit of warm over cool or cool over warm color washes. The contrasting colors mute each other out from a distance.

Here a warm wash has been applied over the entire painting. These are very wet washes and I'm using the acrylic paint more like watercolor.

Working on blocking in the areas and doing some rough rendering. I work from the general to specific, and often back again to the general. Some of the shapes in the legs of the figure at this point may very well endup in the final piece.

At this stage, paint has been applied with the pallet knife in the area that will be the field. The imposto is not super thick, but it will create places for later glazes and washes to poll up. I really like the patina of old paintings. All of the cracks and grain of the canvas fill with dirt. I emulate this by using earth colors washes, which are actually nothing more than refined dirt.

More overpainting. From this point, I will continue to develop certain parts of the figure in a naturalistic style and simultanoulsly begin abstracting some of the areas of the figure the eye deems "less important". ... check back next week for more images as I complete this work.

More overpainting and glazing. I decided at this point that the cloth covering the body would be more interesting as a lighter color to break up the figure. I'll glaze some hatch texture over this soon. The pigs will be developed next. Abstraction has begun over the entire canvas with shapes begining to apear only for the purpose of moving the eye around the composition instead of describing pigs or the human body.

More overpainting and glazing. I normally set piece aside for a few days at this point. Then I can edit it without being so attached. Here's the final result.

© 2015 Jason Amick