Alla Prima Example: "Santiago Rum"
I was doing some painting last night and I realized again how much I love painting various textures. The most amazing part of oil paint is the ability to transform one material into another, exactly like alchemy.
The painting was all alla prima and took me about 3 hours to complete. I'm a fast painter, but that was even fast for me to complete a painting. I recently made a deal with myself that I will never rush a painting, if I feel like I'm rushing I put my brushes down and walk away; since this painting progressed from beginning to end, I didn't feel the need to walk away. I feel like the speed also helps me because I don't end up overthinking areas and going back and muddling them up.
It was also really fun to paint because I was really inspired by the color of the rum and the orange reflections that are created with light passing through the bottle. Even though this painting only took a few hours, I was totally immersed and focused the entire time. I've come to realize that the question of "how long did that take" is not an accurate reflection of the skill or quality of the painting.
Handling the smaller details such as the label on the bottle or the cap of the bottle was the only area where I used a smaller brush. For those details I like to use small synthetic watercolor brushes, but the rest of it is larger bristle brushes. And the details are actually pretty abstract when you see the painting close up. I'm not sure if it's my own speed or laziness, but I always painted details in a shorthand sort of way. I like suggesting a bit of detail, but I don't like laborious painting because it makes the painting feel lifeless in my opinion. I feel like I captured a sense of space with this one and the light and textures are as accurate as I could make them. Stay tuned for more soon!
Remember to Simplify Values
I started a self portrait today and an important thing that I need to remember moving forwards: Always simplify the values in the beginning stages. Detail doesn't matter if the overall value structure is wrong. Have a nice weekend everyone!
I was working on a mastercopy earlier today and it left me feeling really blue. It was basically a feeling of dissatisfaction.
Anytime I'm feeling lost or dejected, I look through some photos of a trip I took in April 2018 to see my best friend, Pino. These photos remind me to be genuine in my life and my art. Sincerity is really the only way to achieve anything worthwhile. At the end of the day all I can be is myself anyway. I just want to do the things I enjoy and live as authentically as I can. I've been overthinking it for a while now and it's been killing my art. It feels like the good stuff can't be planned and I need to remind myself of that feeling more often.
Bold, but not Rushed
I just did a painting study tonight (pictured below) that inspired me to share some some insight. The reason I did this painting was because I was feeling pretty bad after having painted a really terrible painting earlier today. So I was feeling pretty low and decided to take a different approach to this second painting. The painting is of an amaryllis bulb that flowered recently. I wanted to just slow down a little bit and paint this study piece by piece in a very deliberate fashion.
I feel like the painting came out well and taught me a really valuable lesson in the importance of having deliberate action with my paint. I won't be in a rush anymore to paint and I'll be taking my time from here on.