Monday, October 18, 2010

Painting Skulls

I've been reading a great book called Alla Prima by Richard Schmid which is having a tremendous effect on my work and working methods.  In essence, "alla prima" (which translates to "in the first") is a way of working directly with a subject in one setting.  I have been using this technique while doing my landscapes too.  It forces you to make decisions about everything from color to shape to drawing to edges.  It is not about just working quickly, but rather working smarter and more directly - to start with your first stroke being "perfect" and working out from there.  To put down a stroke that is the right color, value and shape and leave it alone.  It is a great book for any realist painter.

So I have been painting smaller canvases to improve my eye and to work with thicker paint.  Schmid says that most problems in painting are not color related, but drawing related.  I agree.  Sargent said a painter should feel as comfortable drawing with the brush as they do with a pencil.  Something to strive for.

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