I've been meaning to make a start on this new work for ages. I'm doing a painting that I think will accompany a quilt or two. It's continuing on with my swallows theme which didn't start out to be oriental, but the quilt that's also on the go has lots of bird cages which do look just like the ones you see massed at Chinese markets. This painting also features hands which are the linking element to the other strand of thought for this exhibition - more on that when there's actually something tangible to show you.
Back to the painting. I've done lots of drawing of this subject, both in my sketchbook and larger versions on loose paper.
Drawing is great for getting to know your subject, but the way I draw is quite different to the way I'm going to paint this. Nevertheless it's good to have these on hand for reference. I've also got some photos to remind me of the colours as the painting isn't going to be black and white.
Having already done the drawings there's no point labouring over redrawing it onto the painting panel so I've made a square-up tracing of the largest drawing I've got. It's still not big enough to transfer 1:1 so I've scaled it up as I've transferred it to fill the whole panel.
I'm painting onto a wooden panel which I've primed with a couple of coats of acrylic gesso. I've tried to get away with the most sparing use of pencil lines as a guide. I just read a book by an artist who's painting I really admire and she says to try to avoid using pencil at all as often it's easy to fall into the trap of simply filling in. I agree wholeheartedly, but I also need to get the proportions right so I want the safety net of the pencil this time.
I know, I know, the flesh tone wouldn't look out of place in an episode of The Simpsons but we all have to start somewhere! This is just the base layer and the colour will be modified with lots of overpainting with glazes.
Hope you've all had a great weekend.