Suburban Native (in progress)

I was sure I had uploaded a photo of this in the initial sketch, or one of the earlier layers — but either it’s gone missing or I imagined it.

I’m once again mining old work here: I’ve tweaked things around a lot to balance out the composition, but the subject is identical. I can’t decide if I’m happy that I’ve built up such a large set of material to work with, or anxious that I’m not having enough new ideas.

This one’s a little different from what I’ve been working on up until now. It’s much larger than usual. Also I’m spending a lot more time on it: instead of a single rough underpainting, I’m planning to do lots and lots of very thin layers of oil, measuring all of them out carefully against the initial sketch.

This takes a lot more effort than I’ve been spending on previous stuff — up until now everything’s been completed in one or at most two sittings; this one’s taken four or five nights so far; each night I add another thin transparent layer, once paying attention to color, the next working mostly on the brightness… seems to be working pretty well. Even the people — which I kept chickening out and shying away from, until tonight they were two blank white splotches — seem to look pretty well-proportioned and more or less like I intended them to. So far, anyway.

Obviously some parts are looking more complete than others at this point. I’m likely to be working on this one for a while yet.

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