Oil Portrait: Knowing Your Mind

I’ve had an epiphany. There are many ways to accomplish any task and a particular way of doing a task that works best for any individual. Finding that specific path to completion, knowing your mind, is what we all struggle with daily.

In fact, I think the struggle with unraveling how our own mind works and how best to use it IS the basis for everything we do. Think about it… pun, look at any task you do daily and notice the individuality in it. The way you accomplish anything that makes you, you.

Throughout life we are taught to accomplish things in one particular way. We get better at everything by either adapting our brain to the procedure or we find our own way. Finding our own way is what makes us individual. It seems obvious in art, there are as many different ways to paint the same person as there are people. The more complex the task the more paths there are to complete it.

The key though, the absolute best, is when you find a way of doing something that resonates with your own thought process.

So, where am I going with this? Well, through my years of struggle with art I see many different paths to completion. Such as the “Sight Size” method or the “Envelope” or even abstraction. I’ve tried many of these methods but one has resonated with me and it goes against a lot of what I’ve been taught. I’m not sure what you would call it but this is how I worked today on this portrait and it was very successful.

I didn’t work from the general to the detailed like most methods, I went straight for finished detail right at the beginning. I had some drawing done as you can see for basic placement and to make sure the head would fit on the page. But, after that small beginning, I started painting each stroke as if it was the last. I moved from section to section comparing each new area with the one previously painted. Richard Schimd works this way, and I”m not sure what to call it. One thing is for sure it works well with how my brain works, I just have to remember and repeat.

Oil Portrait: Know Your Mind, setup
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