Sometimes I think I'm a terrible person, I start a painting and sometimes the struggle to the finish is marred by unforeseen difficulties or (especially in oil painting) long breaks for drying and layering or just plain old thinking.
Here I have one of those paintings that fits both those moulds. I started this painting in May last year(2016), completed the under drawing work in the better part of an hour, worked on painting persistent small tones with a tiny palette knife on a large canvas, and then I hit a point. A point I hit with some pieces', a point where I don't know where to go next, and usually if I hit this point I have a system, I Set the work aside to rest. I take it out of my immediate working area and sit it where I can see it and leave it to my subconscious to figure out the direction and the fixes to be made for a finished piece.
I get the initial lines and composition done in roughly an hour whilst the model sat. I used charcoal and a damp brush to block in big areas. It's the first time, I believe, that I had to walk and draw a line at the same time, if you haven't tried it, I recommend. (Picture 1) if you notice I realised (too late) that I did not leave enough space at the side of the canvas for the stretching process, a silly over sight but lesson learnt.
By the last image in the above series I had built my own frame and stretched the canvas, its incredible how much of difference this makes! (Picture 4) This is how the painting stayed for a few months, before I blew of the dust and went at again with renewed vigour and alternate vision.
This is the painting as it stands. As you can see, I completely re thought the background which was influenced by a painting I did in the mean time.