Figure 1

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I started my first kid crawling around on the beach digging for clams.  I’ve reached the point in this painting where I feel like I might have a breakdown over it.  It happens every time at some point with every painting.  I panic and think, holy crap this doesn’t look like anything but crap.  Then I keep going.  I’ve figured out that if I can move on through that/this stage I can usually pull something decent out. But that’s hard to remember in the moment.  No matter what people say, painting is not relaxing.  I’m trying to figure out what to do about the kids faces.  I don’t really want to do full blown face portraits of each kid, I think it might take away from the painting rather than add to it.  At the same time, 7 out of 8 of them are looking out at the person that took the picture.  I’m thinking of turning some heads.  And just suggesting a few looking right out.  Like this kid.  What do you think?  I like how the strokes are loose and biggish and suggested on the kids shorts and body, but if I put a million little strokes on his face it will not go together.  But I don’t want it to look like I just can’t paint a face.  hmmm.

On a happier note, I am happy with how his shorts look.

If you are wondering how I got the kids drawn onto the canvas so neatly with no erasing, measuring lines, grid, etc, I drew it all out on a sheet of newsprint first and then used contact paper to transfer the image so I didn’t have to draw it again and could make my mess on paper.  Much easier to do on paper than canvas.  And paper you can toss out many sheets that don’t look good.

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9 thoughts on “Figure 1

  1. Haha, ‘painting is not relaxing’, huh? I totally agree with you. When I reach that point, I usually take a break. Drink coffee,eat snacks, walk around and come back later! – and continue to agonize – haha😂

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  2. For an aspiring artist like me who’s only begun painting — watercolors, not oils — this is totally mind-blowing. I can’t even begin to imagine ever having the ability to paint something so energetic and exciting. The first figure is looking great, and I know you’ll give him a face that’s “just right” for the painting. I’m in awe of your talent.

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  3. I can totally relate to that feeling! Every single painting! 🙂 I’m sure this one will turn out pretty great in the end. You can do it 😉

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  4. I love your description of the inner dialogue that happens every time you create something. I can absolutely relate. I find each time I create something I am in a discussion with myself about letting go of the mental image of perfection I have, and the less-than-perfect product that channels through my hands 🙂 Keep going!

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  5. One thing you can do is give a basic placement of eyes and mouth with some shadows. My subway painting was driving me mad trying to recreate the brownstone buildings of New York, and I couldn’t do them exactly, so I just went with basic brown and reddish buildings that look like them at various distances. I know how you feel when looking at a painting and doubting that it looks remotely good.

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