Thursday, March 5, 2015

one layer

I still don't quite know how to paint.

Most of the time I start with an underpainting, intending to just block in some simple values and shapes, but then I get carried away and immediately start fine-tuning. Then, when I go back in for a second layer, I realize I'm trying to imitate what I did in the first layer and it inevitably comes out forced and stiff.

A painter friend suggested that I just stop after the first layer, then: why fight it? Why finish it? 

So this piece I intentionally did in one sitting, aiming for broad strokes and minimal fussing. 

I especially like how that background turned out -- the creaminess of that color! 

Jason has been saying from the beginning that my studies are usually more interesting than my finished pieces, and I always thought he was just, you know, saying that, because they just looked half-baked to me. But I'm finally starting to see his point. 

The funny thing about confidence, I've realized, is that it doesn't arrive from somewhere else just in time for you to try something new and bold. It is borne out of risk and practice, and must be tended daily.