I almost always do a really tight pencil drawing before I start painting. The drawing shows through the paint (doing a lot of the work for me), and typically prevents me from making any huge mistakes. And although it may save time and reap consistent results, tediously rendering everything out in pencil is not always the most fun thing to do, nor does it always reap the best results.
Believe it or not, once upon a time, I actually used to paint pretty loose... and Alla Prima.
'Stretch', 2001, oil on canvas.
On occasion, I get a real hankering to do that again.
I always promise myself I am going to loosen up and just sling some paint, but I rarely do.
This time though... I made good on my promise.
I'm working on a job right now that has a classic 'Orientalist' feel to it, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to deviate from my usual methods. So I decided to paint this piece really big, and without a pencil drawing.
It is giving me a chance to push some paint, play with texture, and most importantly... MAKE MISTAKES.
A sneak peek of the piece I'm currently working on.
The end result will likely look the same as my usual stuff (After all, I've got to give my clients what they are expecting of me), but already the process has been a lot more fun, fluid, and really quite rejuvenating.