Working on Big Red

Although I have no intention of actually calling this piece, Big Red it’s fitting for the moment. It’s 60″ tall and… well, Red. Its predecessors are called Washington Street in Red. I’m loving the simple composition on the large-format canvas. I spent last night working on giving the predominant colors some more depth. I try to achieve this by adding many layers of thin paint over the base values. It gives the color a rich look and feel. The process also helps me to define and redefine the shapes I’m working with. I’ll push and pull the shapes until the elements of the composition look right together. Over the next week you’ll see the shapes getting more (or sometimes less) refined as they settle into their final positions and achieve their final colors.
I love to lay the paint on really thickly too, but on a piece this size that can cost you quite a bit. Things being the way they are I’ve had to adjust my process a little when working large-scale to save paint and money. Art is one of the first things to get hit when the economy goes south. It’s a luxury good and people are reticent to pay a lot for it when things are down. I like to paint large, but in a bad economy I’ve got to be conscious of price. Keeping the paint thinner challenges me to achieve my desired results with a different technique than I may prefer to use on a given painting while keeping my costs lower. That allows me to pass it on in the price of the finished work. Plus the overall effect can be gorgeous… which is what I’m hoping for on this one.
Have a Happy!



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