Well, I made it look like I got a lot done by blocking in the rest of the background. But this slow progress is really testing my painting stamina.
As of today I have spent 19 days on this painting, at two hours each day. I can’t recall every in my life working on a painting this long. Although I was never this obsessed with tracking my time so, who knows.
But, one thing that I know for sure is that this painting is really testing my painting stamina and motivation. It’s difficult to keep the energy up when I’ve been working on one painting for so long. But then I think about the great masters and wonders like the Sistine Chapel or the huge room size painting by Rubens, or the huge meticulous paintings by Dali. I can I ever hope to complete master works like that if I can’t keep motivated by a 28×18 painting?
Well, one thing is for sure, I will not gain more motivation by complaining and not doing anything about it. So, it is time to be proactive.
Ideas to bolster stamina and motivation for long term paintings
- Break it up with other smaller paintings
- Have several large paintings going at once
- Focus on smaller parts and also use them as a lesson for anatomy. Basically increase the importance of each small part of the painting by using it for multiple tasks.
- Limit the time that I work on 1 painting consecutively. 1 week on 1 week off.
- Cut out a hole in a large piece of paper the size of a smaller painting, 16×12 maybe. Then lay that over a section of the unfinished painting and treat the window you created as it’s own painting.
There are issues with several of these ideas but even making the list is making me want to work on this painting more. That is very surprising!
For today’s session I worked on the first layers for the thigh, foot and leg. I wanted to keep the colors very intense here as I want them to show through any subsequent layers of paint that I add to the same area days from now.
For the next session I’ll work on the far left foot. Getting it’s initial layer done, then I will move back to the lower back as it will be dry and I can begin to put on the final layers of paint there.