A State of Undress

Painting of a peeled satsuma

‘Satsuma and Peel’. Oil on gessoed card, 8″ x 6″

Today’s painting was again quickly completed. It has lead to me considering more about the mark making of brushes and paint, and I really enjoyed more than a little experimentation.

Paint handling is like handwriting, and I believe it evolves over time to be particular to the artist. You can be taught the theory behind different techniques, but how you ‘own’ what you learn will always be governed by something from within.

I have noticed how differently I paint when working on these sketches as opposed to a long figure pose (for example) over many hours. My painting here is thick and quite buttery in places. The attention to drawing has been sidelined, but my confidence in putting paint down is increased. Having said that, there is still very much something in common with both painting styles that I recognise as being mine. Unfortunately, I can’t describe what that is in any meaningful way.

I hope that something of the confident, purposeful painting of the sketches makes its way to the more tentative approach I take with larger, time consuming paintings. I think that helps me to also ascertain what purpose these (often unsuccessful) exercises play in developing painterly skills.