Friday, July 4, 2014

Two Roads - 11x14 inches, oil on panel

Two Roads
11x14 inches, oil on panel
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A bright, humid, sweltering morning. It was nearly 90 degrees by 10:30 AM when I finished. Painting in the North Texas summer is not for the faint of heart. The sky in this one is white hot and didn't photograph quite right.

Last summer I started doing multiple sessions at the motif to combat the heat. The first morning I would work up a detailed grisaille, which is a monochromatic under-painting in gray. I would use turpentine to wipe back some of the paint to expose the light parts of the painting, but no white paint. I would work out the entire painting in monochrome, making sure I had every element where I wanted it and that it was well-drawn. I would spend around 1-1/2 hours working up the grisaille, and in the following session I would add color for about another 1-1/2 hours. It was a weird way of working for me, but it fended off heat stroke, sunburn, and dehydration.

I think it's time to re-adopt that strategy.