Friday, February 17, 2012

"Le jardin de Le Village" a work in progress.

The subject here is loosely based on a vegetable garden I saw on a trip last year. The idea for this painting struck me the moment I walked up to the garden. I tried to capture what I felt when I saw it with my own eyes. I could picture a figure existing or doing something in that environment. My reference is very deficient in many areas, but I use it for structural information. The ideal scenario would be to have the model on location, but that was impossible in this case. I hope when it is finished, one gets the feeling of sense of place that I was going for. This first step shows how direct my attempt at this particular one is. After ridding myself of the white canvas with a thin wash of relatively neutral color, I start with a few vine charcoal lines to indicate positioning of shapes in the composition….then, it is go for it all the way. I must say that this is not necessarily the easiest approach to painting something this large, but it is fun to test one’s observation skills…..and it is, if successful, very satisfying and a personal favorite way to start a painting.

Step two is just more of the same….judging sizes of shapes and values.

Here, I’m getting this done quickly….like a careful block in. This might minimize the corrections or adjustments that will have to be made as I go along. It is amazing how it starts to slow down at this point…..which is not a bad thing. Parts of the painting process move quickly, while other parts seem to call for a slowing down, and more deliberate and careful application of paint.

This is a shot Marilyn took of me working on the painting. My wife occasionally sticks her head in the studio and helps me with stuff, like telling me what I need to hear, rather than what I want to hear. She also took this shot. I am between studio easels at the moment, and I have been working on a wall I built like the studio wall I had when I was an illustrator. It works fine, but an easel is more practical and efficient. I am sort of handy when it comes to building things like furniture type stuff, so I plan to build a large one from some plans that I bought. After researching the easel I wanted, the cost was incentive to try and build one. Hard to say when I will get to it, but it is on the to do list! When I get to it, it might make a good blog post subject.

This is the near finished painting that was done quickly over a period of time, due to a multitude of interruptions since beginning this large (for me this is large) painting . A happy face indicates that I do not hate this painting yet! We’ll see how it goes from here. I will post the finished painting later. Thanks for listening to my ramblings


  1. It says you already bought plans for a new easel, but here is one that painter Joshua Been built and has all the details on his site. I am thinking about building one like this when I get more studio space. Thought you may like to see it.

    1. I will take a look. I think I paid about thirty bucks for the plans on line. If I build it, it will be a substantial easel, but also a big project. I will check out the Joshua Been one. Thanks.