One Painting, Twenty Versions

End of October 2019 and I'm feeling in a rut, not sure where to go from where I am. Someone on WetCanvas suggested to someone else picking a pose and redrawing it twenty times. I am NOT given to repetition, but I can clearly see the benefits and, while I'm hoping I'll have some kind of creative breakthrough by the end, I should dramatically improve in terms of handling and technique if nothing else. I think the discipline will be good for me, too.

All twenty paintings are oil pastel on Clairefontaine Pastelmat, around 6" x 9".

This is the first, it went well, I was quite pleased with it.

The second is dreadful. Some things about it are nice enough, but the neck in particular is horrid.

The third was better, perhaps because I went so much darker and that's how I'm comfortable.

Monochrome for the fourth, which was difficult because
white fingerprints kept appearing in the black, and black fingerprints in the white.

Number five is my favourite so far, he went really, really well.
I like the addition of the waistcoat which has brought nice solid areas of dark into the painting.

Six went well.

I love number seven! Now I'm learning that when you're doing the same thing over and over, you don't need
to be precious about it and you can try things that might not work. I will be exploring this style more.

Eight didn't turn out as well as seven. I'm not sure why, what went wrong,
or why it just doesn't look good, but something isn't right. Needs more thinking.

I'm still excited about seven and very unwilling to carry on with the twenty, because I just want to
produce a butt load of paintings in the style of seven. Made myself behave and get on with this series,
and here is number nine. Strong marks, speed, sketchiness.

I had another go at painting 'loose' and number ten is a considerable improvement on nine! There is actually nothing
about this painting that I don't love, and it would never have happened had I not been doing these twenty paintings.
I'm halfway through now and looking forward to seeing where the next ten paintings take me!

Eleven is another 'loose' painting, not as good as number ten but still there are things
I like about it. I am not keen on the background, though.

Pleased with twelve; lovely thick, luscious strokes of pigment.

Staying loose for thirteen; poor man looks terribly sad, though.

Love fourteen, although not so sure about the green.

Fifteen is done, only five left!

Sixteen, "The Turquoise Room". I like it when the title makes the subject of the painting something that
isn't actually in the painting. The mystery; what is it about the turquoise room? Why is he leaving it?

Seventeen is up early and making coffee.

Eighteen! Two more to go!


And twenty!

What a worthwhile and actually rather enjoyable exercise. I feel I learned so much over these twenty paintings, and made some leaps that would never have happened otherwise. Ten is my favourite and the direction I'm going to explore further, but I also like seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, and twenty a lot too. Those latter three would have been looser paintings except I was painting on white and didn't like the white showing through. Ten and seventeen were painted on anthracite (dark graphite grey) Pastelmat and the bare paper showing through looks good. I'm feeling excited and inspired.

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