A Work in Progress

    I am beginning a new painting this week and have been working on the composition. I love using photographs for this part of    the process, as they seem to create distance and objectivity.  While many artists prefer to just leap right into a painting with very little planning and see what emerges, that approach is never very satisfying for me.  Somewhere along the way I usually end up wishing I had 3 more inches here or there to create the perfect balance.  After many frustrating years using the extemporaneous, alla prima approach, I finally abandoned it and came home to good old fashioned preparation and planning.  The result is that my paintings are more visually satisfying, and I am much happier with the end result.  So, here I have posted a photographic sketch of one possible composition for my new painting of a dear friend’s sister.  My daughter says that I should omit the barn in the background. Compositionally, perhaps the sharp line of the roof draws too much attention to itself,as everything else is very organic in shape.  I am still considering whether to leave it in or take it out…what do you think?

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4 comments on “A Work in Progress

  1. Matthew says:

    This composition looks great as it is, very classical looking to me. Did you pursue it?
    I’m an oil painter, found your notes on sizing unprimed linen, thanks for passing it along.

  2. Hi Matt,
    Thanks for your comments. I did pursue this painting and have been working on it over the winter.
    But it has turned out to be one of those painitngs that doesn’t want to be born. So I’m wrestling with it. I hope to turn it around soon.

  3. Matthew says:

    I can relate. I started a painting of my cat from an amazing side lit photo, isn’t going anywhere, just too much detail. I may as well just print the photo…..
    Have you ever tried printing a photo and then painting colors and textures over it?

  4. No I haven’t. I only use photos as reference.

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