What’s underneath the painting?
I realized that most people never get to see what’s under the oil painting so I thought that I’d give you a quick peek, as it's progressing. As you can see, it starts with a charcoal drawing. Why charcoal? Because it leaves a strong line that’s not too black. And it’s a medium that’s easy to shape. It responds to subtle pressure, unlike a Sharpie pen. It’s also a medium that doesn’t bleed through to the surface of the oil painting, like graphite can, if you used a pencil. In its rawest form painting is a bit like cooking. The ingredients are shapes, lines, masses of color layered over other masses of color. And you have to assemble these ingredients in a certain order. You can’t put the cherry on top of the cake before you’ve mixed the batter. And each element is adjusted relative to how it exists in context to the whole image. How do I decide what to do next or in what sequence? The best analogy that I can offer here is that it’s a bit like dancing. You have to learn the steps to a particular dance and master your technique. It helps to be physically fit and have some rhythm. It’s not good if you just can’t hear the beat. After that you just feel it. You follow the beat. There’s really not that much thinking involved. As a matter of fact, when I’m thinking or tensing, I step back or I leave the painting for days at a time and return with a fresh perspective. Then I can really see it.