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Posting a 20x16 WIP. Although progress is a relative term.-DONE

edited August 2013 in Post Your Paintings
This is my second painting with Mark as a mentor. (Photo on the left, canvas on the right) I'm actually pretty pleased with how this 20x16 piece is going but I've painted the entire thing so far with Winsor & Newton Monarch Round #00's. This is the smallest brush I have and while I am pleased with the finished portion, it is taking forever. I just painted six bricks this evening and it took 90 minutes. I have the canvas and the palettes and the brushes in the refrigerator over night but I'm still worried that it might dry too quickly. Should be finished in time for the 4th of July. Patience is not something I've had much of in the past. Mark has taught me I'd better be patient indeed.


  • Its coming along really nicely!
  • Wow this painting is going to be unbelievably stunning. Slow and steady, steady and slow ... you have some patience. Donna
  • Truly a Brilliant job! I solely agree with Tjs and Donna's post. Slow and steady. Trust me, I know the feeling with painting with a small brush. Some areas called for it. Your brick work is worth the time you're putting in. Amazing!
  • edited April 2013
    ^:)^ @opnwyder Scot while this will become nerve wracking it will all be worth it. I used to go through the same thing with my pen and ink drawings using the finest rapidograph pen available.
  • Love the pic, the composition/subject matter and your progress. There's no reason to hurry..enjoy this wonderful journey. Great wip! :-bd
  • Oh Scott, this is super.
  • Looks like a great start to an excellent painting, but why the little bitty brush? Larger brushes can do the same thing and cover more ground quicker.
  • edited April 2013
    Thanks everyone for all the encouraging words. I'm really trying to keep the mindset that there is no deadline so there is no need to speed up. It's a good thing I'm not a professional painter, I'd have to charge an awful lot for this one even if I worked for 10 bucks an hour.

    @tjs In all honesty, seeing the kind of detail you put into your paintings, (like the one currently in the gallery) I was inspired to try this subject. I don't think I knew exactly what I was getting into though. :) By the way, this is not just a new method for me, it's the only method. I'm new to oil painting. For me, these results are more than I could ever have hoped for. Mark's method is awesome.

    @Gary Yes, you hit the nail on the head, I'm just trying to enjoy painting and be unconcerned with how far along I am. Tricking myself into being patient is a reasonable approach I think. :D

    @AZPainter I am trying to duplicate details at a very granular level. I'm even wearing some optical magnification. I can't imagine how to get the details with a bigger brush. I mostly wish I had some even smaller brushes. I'll post a comparison of a 1 inch segment of the bricks to see if I can show what I mean.(Again photo on the left, painting on the right). Any advice on making this go more quickly would be appreciated.

    -Scot White
  • Here is the image I meant to upload for @AZPainter with my last post.
  • it's going to be a really nice painting
  • @sue_deutscher if you wouldn't mind painting the dog for me........
  • I have every faith and confidence in you. But thank you.
  • Scot, WOW! Your scale is small. The way I handle things like this is to find the most basis and common over all color and mass in the entire area of let's say the bricks. Leave a little less room between then that is shown for the mortar. Then I would come back with the small brush and start working the detail. I find by doing it that way it moves much faster, I don't have to work so hard at the detail because some colors are already done. No if it were me doing this I would also give some thought of dry brushing after allowing the mass color to dry. Now two parts of the detail are done before ever starting with the small brushes. I would have laid in the mass color with a bristle brush, allow that to set up, then a good dry brushing, brush (I'm a painter not a writer:D) I like is a Winsor Newton University brush #1 It will give you square corners and is about the width of what I think each brick might be. These are very good preforming brushes, but go to hell in a hurry, usually in one maybe 2 paintings depending on the sizes and how much it is used, but they are cheap. I use them like disposable brushes, but keep a few worn out and flared one for certain things where I would be hard on the brush. Then I would go into the details and finish off the brick. More often than not you can give the appearance of detail when there is actually very little. In fact if you put a lot of detail in areas close to the main subject and not as much as the eye moves away from the subject, people will swear that every brick is painted in detail and the painting will look more realistic because of how we see. We see detail in the focal area, but not in the peripheral areas. Get the shapes,value and color right and they will believe. Just something to think about. :)
  • I think you should continue on just as you have been... I too started with Mark's method just a few months after I learned how to stain a canvas. It is slow at first... but you will get faster with each painting... and as you pick up speed you are learning... you are doing an outsanding job.... good for you!! \:D/
  • @AZPainter I'm not sure how to explain but, for me, for now, even considering techniques as removed from Mark's method as the ones you outline nearly makes me blow a mental gasket. 8-} Fifteen years ago, I spent an hour or two doing four oil paintings and was only able to complete 2 of them. They were all remarkably bad. When I ran across Mark's videos on Youtube early this year I was inspired. So I painted a portrait and felt good about it and learned. This is my second attempt and so I'm sticking as closely as I can to what I've learned from Mark and trying to adhere even more closely to it than on the first try. So trying something like what you outlined seems way too daring. Don't get me wrong, I'm interested in these alternative approaches and I appreciate you explaining it to me, but for now I already feel like I'm going to screw something up at any moment and ruin the whole thing. :))

  • be cheerful full with magnification glass it may seems easier
    But very tricky
    For me at list
  • Scot,
    There is nothing in my suggestion that cannot be done using Marks method other than allowing the mass to set up and that can be over night or within an afternoon depending how much medium you are using. I was only trying to give you a suggestion to achieve a better effect easier and faster. What you are doing would cause me to blow a mental gasket if I did not die of boredom before hand.

    I sometimes tell people how I do somethings. I have been painting nearly 40 years, I do not expect everyone here to be on the same page. I only wish to help. That being said, this is Mark's site. He teaches an excellent method of painting. The last thing I would ever think about but would never do is suggest things that undermine his teaching or confuse people who are learning, inspired, and trying to work and learn strictly with his method. I have never once knocked his method nor will I. It is so close even in the palette I use it is not even funny. The biggest difference is I do not use mediums and for good reason. I paint rather quickly, if I used a slow drying medium I would have paintings stacked up around my studio I would be knee deep in wet paintings. If I were doing a mural or large oil or know I will not have time to finish in a day, I will and do use a slow drying medium, M.Graham's Walnut Oil. I have used it for years before I knew of Mark's medium or method that he is teaching.

    My suggestion was meant to be helpful not to change your painting style. Have fun.
  • edited April 2013
    I totally understood what you were saying and I had asked for suggestions. My response to your (very informative) answer was partly (tongue in cheek) worded to show what a total beginner I am and also to compliment/thank Mark for bringing me along this far (how ever far that is). I know you are keenly aware of how written conversations can be misinterpreted (having read your posts over time) and I want to be sure you know I appreciate you taking time to advise me and the others you have helped on this forum. Having professionals like yourself on the forum who are truly involved in the day to day conversations is partly what makes this such a valuable resource.
  • Oh man, this is gonna be freakin' awesome! I'm not going to enter into the discussion about "anal" painting versus "blocking in with anal coming later." :) I have done and do both and still haven't figured out how I want to paint. Whatever you do it's going to be great as evidenced by what is already on the canvas.

    A discussion I would like to enter, and the very slight value differences between your reference photo and the painting, in the very dark spaces between the leaves, has me thinking about the difference between "atmospheric" representation, which I'll say to me is sort of having less contrast and valuation differential, versus an almost photographic dramatic difference between values. I am personally attracted to a somewhat more atmospheric representation but I seem to paint with great value difference, which means I'm totally screwed because I'm not painting what I like.

    I have no idea what I'm talking about here but felt the need to say it. Perhaps it will engender some discussion. Meanwhile, Scot, i am excited about your painting, not just for the painting, but also for your development and growth. I love seeing people work at this and succeed.
  • Scot, I likely took your comment the wrong way. Just before replying I had a PM from a member who asked me how I did something on one of my own paintings that was posted here and I answered the as openly and completely as I could. My reply was to tell me why I was wrong and I was lucky it worked. Oddly what I did was a technique that has been used by artists for hundreds of years.The person I was communicating has been painting only for a few years. So I apologize to you and I will offer no more suggestions unless I am asked and only in the open forum, so anyone who asks me, be ready for some honesty. I will not be blowing smoke up anyone's skirt. As a very good artist once told an interviewer on a local TV news segment after the reporter said some inane comment and laughed. The artist told her, "I don't take myself very seriously, but I am deadly serious about art. "

    To Everyone, my suggestions are just that suggestions, they are not telling anyone how to paint their painting. I have never done that here, in a class or workshop and I won't be starting now. The only times I have done anything near this is when someone does something that is either just not going to work or it is likely to create unforeseen problems in the future.

    So in closing and once again, I was a bit sharp, Scot and I apologize.
  • edited April 2013
    I'm still chugging away on this painting but my band played a gig this weekend and it was warm enough to play golf (so I did) and the Master's was on TV so I only managed a few hours.I'll post another progress photo if I ever get to the half way point in the piece.

    @garrykravit I did not notice the value difference you mention until I took the photo. I am trying to match color and value as closely as possible for now with photographs as this is what Mark teaches. I figure I'll do exactly what he prescribes for a few paintings and then start taking artistic license as Mark says we should do. I was concerned by the fact that I couldn't "paint what I saw" for the leaves and had to idealize the shapes. I just didn't feel I had the skill level to paint the complexity I saw there. This is likely why the value differences you note are there. I find it very interesting to note that many differences between the photo and the painting are very quickly noticed when looking at a photo of the two together. These are things I did not notice when looking at the source and painting in real life. It's so well and truly obvious that it makes me think that it's a good tool. Think I'll start periodically taking a photo of them together (while painting) just for the new perspective. Thanks for looking at the WIP and for your encouraging words.

    @AZPainter No worries at all. Like I said, you've already had a very positive impact on my artistic perception and I can only thank you for everything you've added to this forum.

    -Scot White
  • Scot,
    At the end of the day we have to decide whether we want to "paint a photograph" or paint a painting. Actually, I prefer to paint a painting. Otherwise, as my wife says, why not just take a photo, print it out, and frame it. That is, of course, just one person's opinion. I'm not trying to say that you should copy exactly what is there, only that if that's what you're intending, it's not exactly that way. My goal is to move away from photo like paintings. What I would like, eventually, is the sense of realistic color and contrast with a painterly feel and a pleasing artistic interpretation - whatever the hell all that means. :)

  • Garry,
    This topic is so relevant in the internet age. Digital imaging has made photography a much more widely practiced endeavor. Consequently there are high resolution images of everything all over the place. Even if you paint realism plien air, why not just take a photo? The logical extension of this concept would be that a painter is wasting time unless the product is impressionistic or at least "painterly". I'm not so comfortable with that conclusion even though I agree with some of the logic. I've just decided to paint and see what it looks like when I'm done, then decide if I like it. If I don't like it, I'll try some different approach. Can't figure out a better plan.
  • dencaldencal -
    edited April 2013

    Amazing work! I dread to estimate how many values of mid grey you have mixed.

  • I'm really looking forward to the finished painting. It's going to be gorgeous. Loved your list - it applies to me as well.
  • Every time I offer some constructive criticism I always seem to be the only one and then I feel like an a--. But since you asked, I think you need some leaves to be in a more vibrant green to bring more life to the whole bunch of leaves. I think a little bit of your brick color needs to have more vibrancy here and there to add more life to the whole brick structure. I know not everyone agrees with this, but I like a painting that has some bit of vibrancy to make it "sparkle" and come to life. I am just turned off by a calm painting with values within close ranges. Others love those paintings. Take my advice for what you feel it is worth.

    I am in awe of your ability to do this painting with all this detail. I feel like the forum is on the sidelines waiting for you to cross the finish line with all the joy of watching someone compete in the Olympics. Go, man! You can do it! It will be terrific!
  • @dencal Thanks, you are exactly right, my palette has every shade of grey mixed in three places.

    @Sue Thanks, that list is amusing but real for me... :)

    @Grandma YES! I agree, I am going to revisit the plants and give them more contrast and more saturation when I do the remaining plants across the top and on the right side of the painting. I started in that corner and hadn't really "gotten my feet under me" yet. Oddly, the bricks look very similar in contrast and saturation to look directly at them but are comparatively duller in the photo. I do feel like I'm in a marathon! Thanks for looking at it and giving me your ideas, that's exactly what I wanted.

    -Scot White
  • opnwyder said:

    Well, I just keep plugging away at this thing. I have learned a few things during this process that are alarming and yet liberating at the same time.

    1.) I can't not blend.
    2.) I can't premix colors, I have to mix on the fly.
    3.) Black is never really black, it's just very dark brown or very dark blue.
    4.) Having hundreds of straight lines to paint is a challenge.
    5.) Windows and bricks are nothing but hundreds of straight of lines.
    6.) Painting is a great way to move the clock forward by 4 hours without noticing.
    7.) If I paint too much, I dream about painting all night long.
    8.) I cannot keep from getting paint on me in some fashion.

    Having fun though, I guess that's what it's about.
    Please offer me criticisms on this piece, I want to hear how you think I can improve on it.

    -Scot White

    I agree on all 8 accounts. I have a hard time getting the black I want as well. For me, I added a touch of Phalo. blue to Ultramarine, with BU, 2:1 ratio and it helps to get it darker. Just another thought. Keep going!!!

    Outstanding patience, and its paying off big time!!! Can't wait until the next installment. Awesome work!

    =D> =D> =D>
  • Scott, your doing great. can't wait to see the finish because I know you will do great. You have already.
  • opnwyder; I feel your pain and more. I have three paintings started, friends and family tell me great. I know the paintings are garbage, but I don't know why or what to do to them (except burn them and go back to being a sculptor, that I was good at.) Your piece is looking really good, hang in there. :((
  • billj

    Use these three paintings as a great learning opportunity. Write the first three pages of your art journal with some self analysis of the work - what you like, what you don't like and why. Put some photographs of the paintings in the journal too along with what your friends and family are saying.

    New journeys are always the most exciting and new learning is inspirational.


  • dencal
    Thanks, I do have photos of all my work, but an organized journal is a good idea. self analyzing can be scary though. ;)
  • billj

    Here is a Visual Analysis Guide that might help.


  • Grt start............waiting to see the finished painting
  • Wonderful Scott! Don't be too quick to make changes to things you've already might do that later. Remember what Mark highly recommends....don't judge/change as you paint, wait until finished or near finished so you can see all colors in relationship to each other, then go from there. See the color, mix the color, place the color - let the relationships develop. Now's the time to develop good habits, bad habits are hard to change later. It's all part of the continuous learning process. :)
  • This is going to be so nice.
  • dencal; WOW!!! It will take longer to fill this out then finish the painting. It looks quite extensive. I`ll try it, anything that helps is worth trying. Thanks
  • Billj

    Its just a checklist or some guidelines - not all of it will be relevant or useful on any one painting. Use what you need - the table expands as you type on the pc.

    For example you may not like the color - then that may be the only section that is used for that painting.

  • dencal; I understand, do you use this, if so, does it help you?
  • billj

    I have used it a couple of times when Forum Members have emailed asking for a critique on a private basis.

    After designing the document and thoroughly reading the references, it kind of gets into your head. I found it useful for isolating my weaknesses - drawing and color mixing.

    A few lessons, workshops (Drawing and Gestural Figure Drawing) and a focus of effort on color mixing soon improved my paintings and helped build confidence.

  • dencal; Thank You, I appreciate it.
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