The next step

I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog starts in my second year of working almost exclusively from the figure.

In the fall of 2015 I reintroduced still lifes and an occasional cityscape into my painting repertoire. Rather than abandon this figure blog or start a new one I decided to just add them to the conservation.

All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from the live model.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Oil Sketch

It never occurred to me to make a distinction between an oil sketch and an oil study. There is probably no sharp line between the two. A sketch in paint would be comparable to a gesture study in drawing where marks are quick and impulsive. Turns out I have been doing sketches since I started painting the figure in oils. Some happened by accident as time ran out in a session while others were purposeful with self imposed short time limits.

Oil sketch on linen, 11" X 9", 2008

Oil sketch on canvas, 12" X 7", 2014

As with my drawings, the first minutes of even long term oil paintings start as sketches. Almost no record exists of these. Early paint strokes are quickly covered by more deliberate marks. For the image below I spent most of the session trying to find a good composition. As a result I was only able to get down some very basic brush lines before time with the models ran out. (See October 15, 2014 post)

Two figures (day one), oil on canvas, 42" X 33 1/2", 2013

I have done hundreds, maybe thousands, of pencil or ink gesture studies on paper. I've only done a few purposeful sketches in oil. I balk at the idea of dashing off a painting in less time than than it takes to prepare the surface. This is a terrible excuse for not doing more paint sketches. Practicing quick bold brush strokes for their own sake would be an excellent learning tool. I'll have to figure out a way to do more.

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