Round Rock Gas Station (24 x 30) — Step 1
Happy Holidays, everyone. I hope you're all still enjoying family and friends for a few more days. My blog posts have been few and far between the last several weeks, but now that I've completed my short move (a short move is still a move, trust me) and made it through Christmas shopping, I will be back to posting on a more regular basis.
Because I've been away so much of late, and because my latest project is a large piece and will take more time than the usual 6x8 or 8x10, I've decided to post it in stages. That way, at least people will know I'm not twiddling my thumbs.
The picture above is the beginning of a larger studio version of a rough field study I did back in October in Round Rock's new Chalk Walk Art and Music Festival (see field study below). Referring to the field study for color notes and photographic reference to fine tune the composition, today started out by blocking in the main color. I was very happy with how quickly it went, considering the size of the canvas. I used Kevin McPherson's "best average color" method, which can be a huge time saver, because you start right in with the more or less correct color and value for the main color areas and get it down with a big brush. Because of the beauty of the oil painting process, there is no real need to start with a line rendering (I did, however, mark the half-way points along all four edges and the center of the support). The slow drying oil paint, instead allows you to push the shape edges around until you're happy with their location. Another time- and paint-saving element of the block in process that I find especially important on larger paintings is adhering to the well-worn maxim "fat over lean." Thinning the paint and using a big brush makes this stage go so much faster. Now that I've mapped out the composition, in the next stage I'll go in with thicker paint to start adding nuanced color and values and make the edges read as they should. I hope to post again in a day or so.