Sunday, December 7, 2014

Oil Painting Tip - Take a Nap

Cat Napper
8x10 Oil on panel

The painting is now complete after three sessions. Each layer of oils was dry to touch before applying the next. I enjoyed adding more colors and values, while keeping the variety of brush strokes in mind.
The majority of tones lie within the medium to dark range. Highlights of white were placed above the mouth and on the tips of the paws. The cat’s facial features were created with finer details and some blending. I left out the whiskers because I thought the extra lines might serve as a distraction. Fur is loosely rendered, with the direction of the brush strokes forming the anatomy. Upon further evaluation, and without deliberation, the body shape seems to resemble a lightly toasted croissant. Hmmm.
In addition to other factors, artists continually make decisions regarding the amount of time and effort spent on each phase of the creative process. As professionals, goals may be specific, such as completing a painting within a few hours or days, keeping the portfolio fresh for review. Pending deadlines set by galleries, clients, and upcoming shows may also enter into the equation. Otherwise known as production, we bring pieces to closure, liking them or not, and move onto the next.
Although there is certainly no guarantee, the paintings I tend to cherish the most are formed in the absence of such necessary constraints. Instead, they evolve around an unlimited number of power naps, formally known as catnaps.  

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