Sunday, April 14, 2013


The above may seem an odd title for a post but I'd like to give you a peak into my creative process.

So far, I have reworked my drawing two times....after I thought I finished it. The first time was when I set the board on the vertical easel. I had drawn the piece on a more or less horizontal surface and only by standing on a chair could I attempt to see the whole board. Now that I could stand back from it something about the bigger bull bothered me. Ah, he was a tiny bit too small. As a matter of fact, he was 5% too small!

5% may not seem like much but it was enough to upset the entire balance of the painting. So, out comes the eraser and since the board already had a light wash on it, I grabbed the elbow grease too! Once I drew him larger (a long process)  I started on the wash for the caribou on the right side of the painting. That was my last post.

My next step was the caribou on the left side and then the bigger bull. One of my favorite caribou was the one I drew in just behind the bigger bull. I oriented him so his legs could be seen in back of the bull. And it was a very good drawing of him. But, there was a problem. As pretty as my drawing, as much time as I spent on it, as much as I loved the animal's expression, he distracted from the bigger bull.

He had to go. Despite the fact that this caribou was one of the first I chose to include in the painting, he had to go.

As an artist sometimes you have to sing your own praises. But I find especially during the creative process humility is a more faithful companion. By quickly admitting I made a mistake and consistently looking for ways to improve the painting (despite how attached I may be to a certain part), I end up with a much better, and more satisfying, result.

Tomorrow I start mixing my oil paints and will begin on the background. Stay tuned.

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