In the Beginning

Starting a painting is tough for me, I thoroughly enjoy the sketching, and thinking, planning and drafting; but actual brush to virgin canvas can send me into a tizzy. This new painting is not an exception. I vacillated between medium, initially favoring watercolor, going so far as to buy expensive paper. But now I lean towards oil.

I’m blocking out the painting in acrylic because I can cover a lot of ground with fast drying mediums. All well and good, but acrylic gives me a headache, it is sluggish in my hands, fighting me most of the way. The images that follow are just the germ of what I want this painting to be, but I am determined to post even if it isn’t where I want it to be at the moment.

For someone of my controlling temperament a big step.

I look forward to moving onto oil, but I have a lot of work to do before that;  I probably will not bring out the linseed oil until next week.

First day of blocking in.

So there we are, looks a bit rough, quite rough. The Maize God needs to be blocked in , as do the infant Hero Twins. I haven’t even added the Underworld Princess. I need to sketch her out, will do that tonight.

But for now, with an aching back, I’m calling it quits.

Until tomorrow,

take care,


Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

10 thoughts on “In the Beginning”

  1. All kudos to you for your courage, Leonard. I know what it feels like to unveil work in process on a blog, and how hard it can be when one is feeling insecure about progress. A little suggestion to ease things for you. Whenever you feel that you haven’t made sufficient progress, or when the work is at a stage you may not want to show, post just a detail. I do it all the time whenever I’ve had a bad day. Better than posting nothing, and yet it gets you off the hook with work that you may feel a bit shy of showing in its entirety at that particular moment.

    This tip may be not right for you, so use or discard it as you se fit. I make a colour sheet of my chosen palette for any painting. To anyone else it would look like a sample from a paint company. For me it helps keep everything under control because I know what I’m aiming for. It’s essentially an organisational technique.

    You’ve made good progress. Good luck for tomorrow.

    1. Good point, this painting is small, only 16 by 20 inches ( I will make a larger one, but I’m working things out) but yes will zoom in on what I like. Thanks.
      I often make color swatches. I love color swatches, a holdover from my mural painting days, I will resume the practice . Another favorite pastime is just making swatches of any new color, tints and hues, etc. Time consuming but such a valuable aid. I need to make a whole batch for watercolor so I may better understand their properties.
      Thanks for the input and pointers, will start afresh with new confidence.

  2. Looking good! That idea you two have of making colour swatches is great too. I have two “palettes” (they are old ceramic tiles actually) and I usually just don’t clean off my palette until I’ve got all the colours re-mixed on a fresh palette. It’s honestly a pretty slow and clumsy way of doing things, I’ll have to give colour swatches a try… and it seems so obvious now that it’s been mentioned.

    And good on you for having the nerve to post unfinished things. That’s a tall order!

    1. Hello,
      I’m feeling rather frivolous with my own palette habits, I buy disposable palettes, and i go through quite a few when working with acrylic; far less with oil.
      Now I feel environmentally wasteful…
      Take care!

      1. My palettes are tin-foil disposal serving plates… the kind of thing one uses on picnics! I find that they’re light in the hand when working at the easel. I put cling-film over them to keep the paint workable between sessions.

      2. I like them as well, I also like take out sushi trays, they are small enough to cradle and they coordinate with one another. Not sure about you but disparate elements in the studio destroy the calm of the studio. Perhaps I am just a bit too precious…

  3. I, for one, am very excited at the thought of seeing this done in oils! And I’m excited for you for when that moment comes, while painting, that you entirely lose yourself in the process. Such a sacred experience.

    It is brave of you to post your work in progress, but I think it also furthers your commitment to the task at hand. I periodically post demos of my music, which are generally in the rawest state imaginable, and sometimes experience a touch of remorse about sharing something so unfinished and personal. Especially since I only crave positive reinforcement! Thankfully, if people don’t care for what I’m doing they’ve thus far kept those thoughts to themselves.

    1. I love you for saying that, I have great hesitation as well, I too crave , as I imagine we all do, positive praise. When a painting is germinating it can be an ungainly little bird. I haven’t posted last few days because frankly it hasn’t been pretty! Boy what a struggle. I am finishing up this stage with acrylics and then giving my acrylic paint to my sister -in-law. The medium just drives me batty.I will post soon, thank you for your thoughtfulness, I’m loving Achilles.

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