This little fellow is the first in what I hope will be a series of experiments in painterly creature creation. As I've said, I start serious studio time in mid-June, the moment the school year ends. Now is the time to work out the details of my new show so I can be as productive as possible in my nearly three months of blissful vacation.
Looking back on my painting work over the years, I see an almost compulsive need for smooth, polished painted works. I can't abide seeing brushstrokes. However, when I asked myself how I could freshen up my painting practice, how I could improve my creatures, I knew immediately that I needed to change how I apply paint. My creatures are a little weird, edgy, wonky and they are begging for a painting style that serves to strengthen that impression. I think adding more texture and imprecise lines/shapes could be exactly what my characters need.
As you can see, I have a way to go. Although I used something other than the bristles of a brush (palette knife, fingers, brush handle) to apply paint on about 80 percent of this piece, it still doesn't have much visual or actual texture. I tend to smooth out the surface by overworking things; it is hard for me to let imperfection stand. Still, he does have a slightly different look so I think I'm moving in the right direction....just need to carve out some more time to practice.