Filling in the Blanks

When I'm working on an oil painting, it's very much a stop and go process for me. I work as much as possible on it while it's wet and get in all the shapes and forms I like and then I wait for it to dry to start the process all over. Some people are able to sit and do it all in one sitting but that's not how I work. So I end up with a lot of space in between sittings that needs to be filled. Now some of it is filled by reading, sometimes the much less productive watching of television, and then sometimes I feel the need to keep working on something art related. I've touched on this before. Recently after I did the ink wash of the Susan B. Harris Chapel for New Year's, I have been trying to explore more of this method. First I did one of the cowboys from the Fort Worth Stockyards.



And I enjoyed it so much I followed it up with one of my parent's big bull, Woody. I really enjoyed this one as he was standing in a stomped down patch of hay.



I am really enjoying working on this. It's very different from the method I use in oils. I don't get to just slam down patches of paint and form them as I go. I actually have to think ahead on this and use a MUCH more tentative approach. I start with light grays and build up on them more and more. A lot more contemplative than the "let's work out a little aggression" methodology of oil paints. And it helps me work out the specifics of composition I want on actual larger pieces. It is definitely a better way to spend breaks than watching television.