These are the 20 value studies made to determine how I would compose this painting. It may seem like a lot of work (it is actually fun!) but there is a huge pay off.
"The Conversation" first washes. The painting is begun.
The guy was so lost in his thoughts as he walked across the railroad tracks, he never heard or saw the train coming before it hit him.
Sounds dumb, huh! It is! This is an almost image of me, except there was no noisy, ground trembling train. I just kept painting without thinking. By the time I figured out that something was wrong it was too late. I had not provided enough ventilation in my studio. And the odorless mineral spirits had me. I hadn’t opened a door or window or turned on a fan or anything! Don’t let this happen to you if you are a painter. Make sure fresh air is circulating through your studio!!!!!! I have had a dizzying head ache (just like the one I get from regular mineral spirits) for a week! And just a little senseless (which I am without the bad fumes added), too. I am better, but a heckuvalot wiser, too ;-)
I have been fooling with the watercolors for the week in order to detox . . .and keep my mind on the painting process.
Today, I did work on an oil painting I had completed the first week of September and didn’t particularly think it was much good. . . . .so, I coated it with alkyd and began glazing and reworking with all the windows and doors open. And I am fine. It was cold and drafty, but I had a good time . . . .and, I was concerned.
On another note, I am now into the November challenge painting. Myrna Wacknov threw down the gauntlet and set out the terms a week or so ago. And I took the challenge. When a drawing takes hours to complete, I get really tight at the end of the brush . . . .particularly when the direction I want to take is not obvious to me. This morning, I completed the 20 value studies to look carefully at composition alternatives before beginning the painting. I chose number 19 (numbered from left to right, top to bottom). It was a struggle to just decide!!! But there is a mood that I want to express here . . . .and a need to keep the sensation of a conversation in progress. Two figures facing each other does not make for much unless they are visually related somehow. And this grid thing that Myrna taunted us with . . . . !! How can one keep track of both mood, content and then plug in the grid too?? I ask you !!!
I have laid in my initial washes. Chosen the compositional pathway and pretty much decided on a color scheme. So, the painting part has begun. My guess is that it will take less time to actually paint this piece than all the preparatory work beforehand. Maybe, just maybe, a good painting will come of it. The time invested in studies and evaluations and planning just HAS to pay off! At least I know which direction I am going now.
(Oh, yes, she DOES have a huge nose. It really is that way! More about that later.)