Monday, April 4, 2016
Spent all day yesterday refining this thing to what you see in the top image. I was amazed at the level of blending and subtlety I was able to achieve - that's definitely new! But at the same time it lost some of the raw powerful qualities it had before. It was more painterly - you could see the struggle to pull form and personality out of the chaos. A bit too much scribbling, which is still a holdover from my pencil drawing heritage - I need to get used to using bigger brushes. But I think I'm going to go back to the previous version and try to develop it by blending only where it's needed, and keep much of the looseness and the rough qualities.
The more refined one looks harder - it's more about surface and slick technique, while the earlier one is about the interplay between control and chaos, the formal elements of painting, and the struggle to pull a personality out of the paint. There's a lot more humanity and artistry in the earlier one, and that's what I'm after.
But I do think it's good to be able to do that, and I should definitely keep doing it now and then just as an exercise in control. I need to be able to freely move back and forth between both modes.