Sunday, November 10, 2013

Working on the "big boy"

One of the most exciting things about painting for my solo show next spring has been the opportunity to work in large formats. I have learned so much about how to go about this, mostly by trial and error. These days my studio is a jungle of easels and paintings, but I cleared away some of the clutter to show how I started this large painting, 72 x 96 , aka "big boy" which will be the centerpiece of the show.

I have described in another post how I use sketches, drawings, memory and imagination plus a study to start the process. A grid is made on tracing paper over the study and proportional squares placed on the larger canvas in charcoal. In this first image you can see the 18 x 24 study (which is at the underpainting stage) on the right, the grid in the middle, and big boy on the left with the charcoal grid laid in. All images can be clicked on for a larger view.

 Here is the grid. The main shapes and lines in the composition are traced in pencil after the grid format is drawn in in pen.

Here is the 18 x 24 study (unfinished).

Here is the underpainting more or less complete. This took about two days of work.

Up on my little stepladder working on the underpainting.


  1. Fascinating! I would think a monochromatic oil painting or a snow scene would be incredible of the woods in winter. Thanks for sharing the process of building up the large painting. Looking forward to seeing it completed.

  2. Thank you Caroline. I will have several snow scenes in the show. One of them is 60 x 72!