Thursday, October 13, 2011

The New Work, "Summer Days"

Oil on linen canvas, 24”x 16”.

Summer was finally here in northern Nevada, (I’m recalling back in June, when I first started this project.) and I wanted to create a piece celebrating the gorgeous summer days.  It quickly became a rocky, troublesome project.

The first sign of trouble was the model I was working with who about half way through the project suddenly became unavailable.  I had finished the under painting process at that point, and also had a finished drawing and a couple of small color studies of the subject in hand, so I was pretty confident that I could finish the piece without her.  As I proceeded without the model, it became more and more apparent that the piece wasn’t working, and I wasn’t happy with it.  Although it was my great regret to abandon the piece, it was clear that there was no point in pressing on.

I ordered a new canvas, stretched it, and started a new piece from scratch, with the exact same pose, and setting, trying not to make the same mistake. I put the abandoned piece right next to it.  Although the new piece had the same composition and pose, I didn’t try to do a faithful portrait of the subject this time.  I made up an entirely new subject from my imagination.  However, since the pose and lighting set up were the same, I could still follow the rules of light and form to render realism.

The piece was produced entirely from life and my imagination.  The background scenery was the combination of two locations: Evans Creek at San Raphael Park, and Carson River Park.  The total number of hours spent at the studio: 103 hours.  The total number of hours spent for field studies for the background: 16 hours.

If you are interested in seeing the process shots, please go to