Sunday, November 10, 2013

Working on the "big boy"

One of the most exciting things about painting for my solo show next spring has been the opportunity to work in large formats. I have learned so much about how to go about this, mostly by trial and error. These days my studio is a jungle of easels and paintings, but I cleared away some of the clutter to show how I started this large painting, 72 x 96 , aka "big boy" which will be the centerpiece of the show.

I have described in another post how I use sketches, drawings, memory and imagination plus a study to start the process. A grid is made on tracing paper over the study and proportional squares placed on the larger canvas in charcoal. In this first image you can see the 18 x 24 study (which is at the underpainting stage) on the right, the grid in the middle, and big boy on the left with the charcoal grid laid in. All images can be clicked on for a larger view.

 Here is the grid. The main shapes and lines in the composition are traced in pencil after the grid format is drawn in in pen.

Here is the 18 x 24 study (unfinished).

Here is the underpainting more or less complete. This took about two days of work.

Up on my little stepladder working on the underpainting.


Debbie Lamey-MacDonald said...

Wow Deborah! This is a huge painting. Your study is beautiful, so I can only imagine how amazing "Big Boy" will be! Thanks so much for sharing your process. Wishing you lots of fun creating this one. I can't wait to see it finished.

Candace X. Moore said...

I agree with first commenter...WOW! Those trees look almost life-size. Would like to hear your comments on how the big boy and the color comp differed, as far as paint handling, brushwork, etc. I read your blog often and enjoy your perspective. Happy painting and thanks for the inspiration, Deborah.

Deborah Paris said...

Thanks Debbie and Candace. I will be doing further posts on this piece as I develop it. I am doing five "bigs" for the show - the smallest is 48 x 64 so its been a challenge! said...

What an inspiration you are. It is looking great - so natural. I'm chipping away on a 4' x 5' piece but didn't have the brains to do a study like you. Hence the composition is in state of flux. I'm expecting to complete piece within 2 generations.

I love the large natural paintings. Wish I could make the show.

Deb said...

I really love the composition and the size. Do you frame with plexi to avoid having a million pound painting? A post on "framing a large pastel" would be really helpful. thanks!

Deborah Paris said...

Hi Deb. this is an oil painting.