Thursday, April 14, 2011

A drawing for a painting

Here is a 24 by 36 I started yesterday. The light was watery today, as we had high cirrus clouds. I didn't want top spoil one of my existing paintings by returning to it in anything other than full light, I started a new painting.

This is another tactic I sometimes use, particularly on larger pictures. I spent the entire first day working transparently (no white). Using a brush and pulling back my whites with a rag, I worked out the entire painting. I have tried to get as much pattern into this thing as I could. It looks a little like Chinese brush painting at this point. Scott Moore with whom I am traveling says the Chinese look is coming from the cheapo oil primed linen made by the Chi-Coms.

The beauty of working in a single color all day is that I have separated the problem of color from those of design and drawing. I like to really get my little iron teeth into the drawing before I start worrying about color and handling. It might seem a slow way to go about things, but I make the time back later, and the subsequent coloring up of the painting goes quickly. I have chased down the gremlins that would have been waiting for me with a less fastidious approach and the painting should proceed without any (or few) nasty surprises.

I did this drawing in cobalt violet. That's a good color to have at the root of my shadows, but I could have used burnt sienna or ultramarine. I would never want to do this with a cadmium red or any other color that I would have to fight later at the bottom of my shadow notes.

Above is my trusty Lincoln Continental with it's Live Free or Die plate ( # Stape) parked on the road up the Chisos mountains.


Ptolemy said...

What an incredible spot -- I love the little tree down by your car... And I'm amazed you DROVE all the way there.

Deborah Paris said...

A Lincoln Continental- why am I not surprised....

Jesse said...

Stape, you take to the desert like a fish to water. You'd think you were born to it.

I'm impressed you are staying in a tent, most of the time I wimp out and stay in a motel.

R Yvonne Colclasure said...

I am green with envy. Nice work.

clarkola said...

Love to see this way of drawing with paint-working it all out before compounding the issues with color.
Assume you thin the cobalt violet with turpentine? Yes?
Glad you have a cohort out there in the wilds! You can stand back to back
waving palette knives at the wolves or
lizards or what have you.

ccreed50 said...

A white late model Linc? Eyeda figured you for a ' doors.

Nice underpainting.

Simone said...

Live Free or Die? You ain't one of them Tea Partiers are ya?

jeff said...

When you park on the side of the road do you sometimes get the state troopers stopping to see what you're up too? Sometimes when I do this in Vermont they stop as do the Sheriffs.

I use to paint in Mason's class in the summers and for a while we had a Vermont state trooper taking the class. He was good painter and
I think he took classes for about 4 years or so.

I love Cobalt violet wash drawing.

barbara b. land of boz said...

I really like this just as it is. It does make me think of the blue willow dishes and thats okay too! It makes me want to bring out the oils again.

You deserve this vacation and it sounds like your having some fun.
So all I can say is....Keep on keeping on Stape...

Deb said...

Stale, drive on up to Nm! I'll make some green chili stew and show you some great painting spots!

Brady said...

I love the lay in. I've been thinking about starting like that, and then throwing in the color when the light gets right. Good to see it's another option!

Lucy said...

Do you change up the color of the underpainting according to the light of the day? ie: Cool, overcast day = cobalt violet?

They look so nice, all of them

Knitting Out Loud said...

Fabulous paintings Stape! Looks like you guys are having fun.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I have too much equipment to fly.Also I don't want to get paint on a rental car.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Got my name on my license plate too.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I do like the desert.I like to be outside in general.

Stapleton Kearns said...

You would be the only green thing here.

Stapleton Kearns said...

There are mountain lions here.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Hardly a late model.

Stapleton Kearns said...

On line my politics are somewhat muted. Let me say I am "wicked nice" and leave it at that.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Only in Vermont have I ever been harassed by the police.

Stapleton Kearns said...

This is not a vacation. I am working long hard days in blistering heat, dear.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thats a long way, but thanks for the offer.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I routinely do that. But in the example I showed I stayed in one color for the entire first day on the painting.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I chose the violet because of all the violet already in the mountains.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks. We are having fun.