Turning, egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 7 1/4 x 5 inches.
My newest painting is composed differently from most that came before: instead of an essentially flat plane, parallel to the picture plane, this work pushes back and forth in space, turning round from side to side and from back to front. I've been feeling that this illusionism is possibly too naturalistic, so am not sure of the success of the painting, though at times it seems interestingly strange. Is it too real, too complex, not abstract enough? I like there to be an even balance, but here it might be tipped; what do you think?
Because this is a fairly complicated painting, I took a couple of process shots. This first one shows the painting when the color was first sketched in and there was still a lot of transparency to the paint. The parchment has a very luminous quality at this stage.
And here is the painting after I worked on the drawing, getting each form in its place in the correct proportion. I do some of this freehand with paint and some, like the straight lines, with a pencil and ruler. This foundation of drawing allows me to use paint more freely. It is not etched in stone, however, as I do change things as I continue to work; my aim, not always achieved, is to keep a quality of freshness within the precise rendering.