Daily Practice

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I often read that it’s important to make art every day in order to really see progress reflected in your work. This is difficult when  you work a standard job, but I’m giving it my best try! Every day I make it into the studio, even if it means just prepping a board, setting out the design for a painting or finishing a small study. This week I started a larger, 18″ x 24″ painting, thinking I would start the piece in earnest the next evening. But when that next evening came, my focus just wasn’t there. Not only that, but I realized that I didn’t know how to paint! The scene I had referenced was a little snowy creek scene and… I’ve never painted snow or a creek like that. All of a sudden I had no idea what to do first. I took the board down and put up a smaller, 9″ x 12″ board and laid the design down again. And then things started to fall into place; block in the larger shapes, find the darkest dark, and the lightest light and just… start. Since it was a Friday night, this painting session included a lovely, crisp Chardonnay… so at that point I’d had enough that it was time to stop. A great start!

The next day I had all day in the studio so an exhausting 5 hours later I was pretty happy with the results. The piece is tighter than I would prefer, but I managed to render the forms and light in a way which helped me understand how to tackle the larger version.

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Last night I put the larger version back up on the easel and realized the original design was not well laid out. In the smaller version, I struggled with the snow bank on the right which comes forward and is mostly in shadow. Without much light, it looks like just a chunk of blue, so I turned the board around and laid out the design again, taking the snow off to the right earlier to eliminate that area. I had more of an idea on how to tackle this one now, technically. I also knew I wanted this one to be more loose. Larger brushes and a different attitude are in order.

Until tonight…

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