December 30, 2009

Beginning a New Painting: Red and Black

The new painting I've recently begun is based on a 12 inch square study from last summer, that I'm calling Red and Black. You've probably noticed that my titles are quite straightforward and descriptive, and this title follows that practice. The image has a strong contrast, in both color and value, between the red metal of the covering and the black innards of the machine, especially noticeable in the underdrawing.

There are a couple of days of work at the stage of the painting below. First I lay down several coats of color; after that, I worked on measuring the parts of the image, balancing them, and making sure horizontals were straight and diagonals parallel. The process is like bringing an image into focus in a camera viewfinder. My next task will be to develop the "inside" of the machine, then paint the wires on top of that. The reds will be last to be painted.

This image reminds me of a painting I did earlier this year, which also has a glimpse under the cover: below the bright flat color areas is a hidden, darker, and more complex world.

Lozenge, 2009, 16 x 16 inches


  1. I'm excited about the new work! Do you find it difficult to pick up and finish a painting after leaving it alone for some time?

  2. glad you like the new painting, J.R. ...well, I've been painting for so long that's it's in my bones, so it's not hard to pick up work after being away from it for a while.