Today’s Featured “Sketches”

I stated a few posts ago that the goal this year was to work smaller and looser in my oil paintings. Well here are two beginnings of small works that sit atop a stack of new beginnings in my studio right now.

The goal on these is to separate values mostly. If you’re thinking they look a bit too “tight” for someone trying to loosen up his style, you might be right. But there is a reason for starting in this way. I continue to be inspired from a working method I learned in a day-long painting class I attended two years ago at the World West Gallery in Washington, PA.

The instructor that day was Dan Marsula, a fantastic local oil painter, who has a day job for steady income as a graphic artist (as do I). Among the many photos I shot durning that class were first stages, done in pencil, of some of Dan’s paintings. It was really inspiring seeing some beginning pencil sketches (done like the images above) sitting right next to the finished versions of oil paintings.

To me that helped reinforce something I knew, but in my haste to get to the “fun” part of painting, didn’t always put into good practice - the fact that a solid beginning and planning of values is not only necessary for the painting stage, but can be fun to execute in itself. The loosness I continue to seek is a loosness of brushwork, but a foundation that is planned out and accurate is essential for a good painting in a representational piece of art.



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