After yesterdays painting and its difficulties with detail I decided to attempt high detail with this painting. I began with the painting surface and spent a lot of time sanding it smooth.
Even after 5 coats of gesso with sanding in between I think this paper still has too much texture to it. But I have enough smooth surface to see if painting on it is something I want to proceed with in subsequent paintings. If that is the case, if I like painting on a much smoother surface, then I will need to go out and purchase some hot press watercolor paper.
I used to paint on gessoed boards with still life and other paintings but I didn’t do much figurative work on those surfaces so I think it will be nice to revisit a smooth surface.
The preparation of the surface took so long that I only had time enough to do the drawing of the figure and get it as correct as possible. I drew the entire figure by measuring with the thumb on the stick method. Then I used a grid on the figure and the photo to check the accuracy of the drawing. I was far off in much of the drawing. Maybe I’m working too much from photos, I need to offset this time with drawing from life but I really just want to focus on figure right now. This is quite a dilemma.