Daily Painting Challenge, January 2015, Day 9

January 9, 2015

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Mannequin hand & tracker robot

oil on canvas panel, 8×10″

 

No underpainting in quick-drying acrylics – literally alla prima.

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Compositional issues were not resolved properly prior to painting. This photo shows a more appropriate elevation of the objects. So if I don’t like the composition in future, perhaps raising or lowering the viewpoint will help!

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Here’s the acrylic underpainting I did yesterday afternoon for this morning’s work – six oranges. A 12×16″ canvas panel suddenly felt like a Big Work, requiring more than one day’s painting. I thought I’d give fruit-&-vegetables-on-a-white-background a rest today, though frankly I could a do month’s daily paintings just on getting a single orange or onion right.

The second half of Arthur Stern’s book is devoted to conveying textures: ceramic, clay, wood, glass, etc. so this was an attempt at rendering both plastic (right) and plaster-resin like substance (left). I suspect this subjective communication of tactility relies heavily on ‘brush’ strokes. Though it’s not at all obvious, I am trying to adopt Stern’s method of “single-knife strokes” instead of a jittery range of dabs.

Yet another day of relentless mid-summer heat today, which I’m blaming for my not returning to ‘fix’ things later in the day. Stern talks about scraping back first and second statements before coming up with a ‘final’ third statement. This method of working helps create a strong “non-attachment” or “detachment” emotionally from the marks one has made previously which is extremely important: we have to be very ‘hard’ and ‘scientific’ in how we observe. This scraping back doesn’t work well with plants, of course, and by the last project in his book, Stern is talking about working continuously (through a whole eight-hour day, it seems) without scraping back.

By rights, I ought to scrape this back and also re-consider composition. By rights, too, I ought to draw this mannequin hand in every position possible every day for a month.

Today’s effort is all about painting-a-day as a verb rather than a noun. I have no idea what I will paint tomorrow, but a package of 6×6″ canvas panels arrived today.

Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days, January 2015, organised by Leslie Saeta (http://lesliesaeta.blogspot.com.au).

Reference: Stern, Arthur. How to see color and paint it: a series of projects designed to open your eyes to colors you never saw before. New York, Watson-Guptill, 1984.

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