Having made the commitment, I finally got down to work on a canvas yesterday. Getting started is pretty much all work and no play, even assuming that I have settled on the subject matter. Choosing the proportions has to be first. I decided on 1:2 and fooled around with where the portrait would sit on the 12 x 24 vertical. Done. Then the canvas had to be primed; for me this task must be accomplished on my hands and knees on the basement floor, which is beginning to look like a Pollock canvas. Inevitably I can't find: the paint; an old knife to manoeuvre it; the matte medium; a rag; a large piece of cardboard to catch most of the drip; and so it goes. The actual priming takes only about five minutes.
Then the tedious part actually moves up a notch as I laboriously transfer the key proportions onto the canvas; again, inevitably, I get one major thing out of place; I can see the problem immediately, an act quite separate from correcting it. Portraiture is particularly unforgiving if you get the drawing wrong. Unless you are Picasso, of course.
These tasks I performed yesterday. Today, finally: showtime! Today was dedicated to the value study. It looks pretty rough, but at least the ship has been launched. Whether it will float or sink remains to be seen. Stay tuned. Tomorrow I will do the first layer of the colour foundation. I'll post each layer on my website for those of you who are bears for punishment.