Painting the Unknown

Every now and then, I resort to painting on canvas.  It seems the thing to do — create a big “page” and use gobs of paint as an easy way to color.  Or at least that’s the idea until I get into the muddle, I mean middle, of it.

It’s awkward showing “muddle work” but ala Austin Kleon’s advice, I’m sharing my process.  If I do, maybe I’ll figure out where the heck I’m going with this painting.  And maybe it’ll start talking to me.

Day #1 was mostly gesso’ing the 3’x3′ canvas and carving out a figure whose face struck me as a mash-up of familiar faces (not the goal).  So, on Day #2, I painted the head white (using a huge cheap tube of Titanium White) and worked on the shirt and suit (which I like) yielding Egg Man.

I like the idea of Egg Man‘s life/face pecking its way out of the shell.  But, Day #3 I tried the face again (working loosely off a bad photo on a bad print-out).  It’s comical in this state but I am approximating where features should be and laying down color.


And as my friend Mary Medrano says (repeatedly) in her art classes, CUT IN.  I literally cut in an eye with the background blue.  Uncomfortable.  But it’s too wet to do anything else and the angling of his right arm is in danger of being overworked.  Put down the brush and step away.