Trust the Process
9 hours ago
|West of the Canyon, 9x12, oil/panel|
|Into the Canyon, 12x9, oil/panel|
|"Old Windfall" by Neil Welliver|
|Painting at the 2011 Sedona Plein Air Festival|
You can tell how happy I am to be painting outdoors,
but I'm also happy when I'm giving indoor demonstrations!
|"Monet's Bench" by Gary Lee Price|
(I call it "Claude in Chains")
I don't know if Monet sat; this may just be the
|I usually stand.|
Photo by John H. Burrow.
|"Artists Sketching in the White Mountains" by Winslow Homer|
Homer painted these three artists sitting.
|Sycamore Shadows - 9x12, oil|
Who was my influence for this painting?
|Casey Baugh at Work|
Painting is like following a recipe. You can't stop a third of the way through to taste it, because you haven't added everything yet and it'll taste terrible. You have to trust the recipe and know that it will be great.
I'll do two or three preliminary alla prima sketches before doing the final piece. These are rough drafts. How do you sustain interest this way? That's why I work fast. If I spend more than a few days, I'll go crazy.
Do those three drafts - and they may be mediocre - and then throw them away. No one cares about them. People just want to see the final, perfect painting.
Take as long as you need to make a painting. No one cares if you spent three hours on a painting or six months. Don't rush through the painting.
I work starting with value, then color, followed by edges and, finally, drawing. I don't worry about drawing until the end. Breaking down the process into simple steps makes things easier. I can always adjust my drawing later.
I start with the easiest shapes first. These are the ones I can see first. (He started with the shape of the hair and then the eyes.)
I work in three stages. First, I just want to get something going on the canvas. Second, I adjust - and this is the hardest part. The third stage is having fun by applying finishing strokes. In that third stage, I try to make everything look like it was done in just two strokes.
Don't be afraid to go for the full value right off the bat.
I save the mouth for last. It's the hardest part.
If I have a choice, I'd rather paint under a cool light than warm light. Whether you paint cool or warm, both look good under a cool light. (Baugh did the demo under a 5000°K full-spectrum lamp.)
Just because you're painting with a small brush, it doesn't mean the painting has to look like it was done with a small brush. With multiple strokes, you can make it look like it was done with one stroke with a big brush. (A lot of the work around the eyes, nose and mouth were done with a very small brush.)
Painting is like making a movie. Hundreds of hours of footage are edited down to just two hours. The movie is edited to make it look like it was shot effortlessly. This is the way painting should be.
Trust your instinct. Trust yourself with art as you would with music. With music, you know whether you like it or not. The same should go for art. If it looks right to you, then go with it. Don't listen to the opinions of others. And you can make your instinct better over time by looking at lots of art.
Everything in the visual world can be described with seven things: Content (what the painting is about), composition, drawing, value, edges, color and texture.
I always place my signature before I am finished. The signature is, after all, part of the composition. Also, we have a hard time seeing when a painting is finished. So, if you sign it - sometimes that's all the painting needs. It helps us see the painting as being finished.
(During the course of the demo, Baugh played some background music from his smartphone through a wireless speaker. Sometimes he stopped to fiddle with his smartphone to get just the right Pandora playlist going.) Half of painting is just finding the right music!
|Hippy Bus in Winter, 9x12, oil|
|Winter Trees, 12x9, oil|
|Hippy Bus in Winter - mid-stage|
|Le déjeuner sur l'herbe|
|Painting along Spring Creek|
|Painting in Jerome|
|John H. Burrow at work|
|Why I love Jerome (and see the pics below!)|
|Don Robertson's 1928 Studebaker|
|New Year's Eve Snow Along Spring Creek!|