Friday, 12 December 2008

Painting a Day

Bigg Market Buildings (work in progress)

I've been following the Painting a Day movement for some time now. It seemed to me that, despite the obviously crowded painting a day sector, with hundreds of painters following the example set by Duane Keiser, it might be possible to elbow my way in and make a buck or two.

First, however, I'd have to find out if I could comfortably accommodate the practice of making a small painting if not every day, at least often enough to make it worthwhile for people to visit my site (I'd have to set up another blog, I think, to show specifically those pictures). Would this regime suit me at all, in fact, and how would I feel about having to work on such a small scale?

Two or three weeks ago I decided to see how I'd fare working on a 5 x 7 inch panel, the preferred size of daily painters like Stephen Magsig, whose work I admire a lot. As it happened, I had a prepared board in the studio and there was a photograph lying about that I'd considered working from and then abandoned. I set to and very quickly found it difficult to work on this scale. I put the results to one side and, in the course of things, almost forgot about it.

Looking round for something fresh to take along to the Club today, I hit on the little panel. While working on the new set of small pictures at the Club, I've become used to painting with small brushes and I figured I might as well see if I could move it on a bit.

What you see above is where I ended up today. I don't think I did myself any favours by using a composition that limits the painting action to the bottom third of the panel, of course. It's made for extremely fiddly working, but overall I'm quite pleased with how it's going. But it'll take another short session to finish it, which is hardly in the spirit of "a painting a day". Nevertheless, the idea may yet have legs. I'll put it in the Introspection & Reflection melting pot.


JafaBrit's Art said...

I actually like the composition a LOT. It reminds me of when I was a child and I would stare up in wonder at the tops of the buildings and the beautiful sky. So for me it as a sense of wonderment and the architecture is just marvelous.

I thought about the painting a day and it is an excellent idea for pushing yourself. I can't even do my drawing every day though, arg!

harrybell said...

It's not that I don't like the composition - I do. But on a 5 x 7 board, putting the architecture in the bottom third makes for a very small area in which to paint.

When I was painting it today, a guy asked where the subject was. When I said "The Bigg Market" he told me he'd never looked up at the tops of the buildings. I do, all the time. and it's in those unlooked for places that I find my favourite subjects.

Trevor Lingard said...

Hi Harry
Your subject matter appeals me and I like this piece very much. I do like the offset images and this as worked well. I do like compositions like this and a view from a different angle can produce something quite interesting. These small panels lend themself to this quick work. I also paint the occasional oil and have a number of 9x11 prepared boards. you have inspired me again.

harrybell said...

Thanks, Trevor. As for my inspiring you, I think it's this cross-fertilisation that the blogosphere encourages so well. I've benefited from it too.

Anna said...

Great idea, Harry. I have put in bids for Keiser a couple of times but never made it. I remember one was a lemon that actually made your mouth water. It could really work for you (and us maybe) if your first picture is anything to go by.

harrybell said...

Very encouraging, Anna. I'm giving it some serious thought.

JafaBrit's Art said...

Oh I see what you mean about the size lol! I am having size issuse at the moment with the sketchbook project and not realizing how small the sketchbook was. Sort of have to recalibrate what you do and with what medium. My husband suggested I add a small flat credit card size magnifying lens which had me in stitches, but I ot one for it.