A painting demonstration in oil on a 24x16" canvas.    1980


     I stretched a piece of Fredrix Sarasota linen acrylic primed canvas.  I brushed on another layer or two of acrylic gesso to fill the weave a bit.  I worked up the drawing in a hurry using several sheets of tracing paper.  The first drawing is just a scribble done with a fat carpenter's pencil.  I traced off the best lines and refined the drawing on a second sheet.   When that sheet gets too black, I transfer the drawing to a third sheet, and so on through as many sheets as necessary.  I learned this method from my uncles who were Disney animators.  It's quick and very effective.  I then rubbed charcoal on the back of the drawing and transferred the lines to the toned canvas.  I got out a big brush and finished the first stage in a few minutes.  When the canvas was dry, I took it up again and carried it to the second stage in the upper right picture using large bristle brushes.



     There are so many things that can go wrong in a painting.  I'm always unhappy when I have to stop before I have a good face on the canvas.  I'm afraid I won't be able to fix it.  Nevertheless, my goal here was to always stop a session just short of going a little too far.   I let the canvas dry and then took it up again, always staying loose, always using the largest brushes possible.  I like to build up layers of paint and let the underpaint show through.


     Here are a couple of closeup's that show how loose the painting is.   It's s good idea to make the painting look effortless.  It's also a good idea to stop before you've done too much damage.  No matter how finished my painting may look, I always work as loose as possible.  Remember, you're not painting stuff, you're painting the effect of light on stuff.


    This image is also shown in gallery 2 of my Retrospective Galleries section accompanied by a poem written by my friend Jae Malone.