Turn the canvas

Woke up this morning with an idea for a painting in my head. When I got to my sketchbook and tried it, I had a “What was I thinking?” moment. It was bad. Epic fail.

Really glad I hadn’t just run for the easel and tried it on the canvas there with the canvas I put on yesterday and stared at.

But, it did get me looking once again at several thumbnails and gave me a revelation. I do a lot of thumbnail sketches in landscape view, but I often put my canvas in a portrait view. The reason is my setup — it’s not the most spacious area and my water to clean my brush sits off to the left, which is my off-side. With the canvas upright, I can easily get to the water. But with the canvas on its side, I either have to bend way to the side or pick the water up and hold it while cleaning my brush. Because of the easel I use, I’ve had the water off to the left for a long, long time.

Obviously, from the thumbnails, my mind is laying out ideas in the landscape view, but my workstyle is prone to portrait view. This is an interesting development. Especially when I look at my smaller paintings and see that I work both ways with them, but most of my larger pieces are portrait view.

This means either I need to adapt how I work or change my setup. That’s definitely something I’m going to have to think about.

I did turn the canvas I had put on the easel yesterday and just stared at. Today, I blocked something in. I really didn’t care too much where I was going. I let the canvas, which had some paint on it already to kill the white, guide the way. It’s an interesting start. I wonder where it goes from here.

The picture above is an extreme closeup of the canvas in progress. That’s all I’m going to show for the time being.

As for the book trilogy, I found an adventurous path today. I need to cycle back through the first and second books to tweak a couple sections, and there’s at least one scene I need to rip out, but I’m liking where it’s going. I’m sure there will be much more cycling to come as I round this book out, but I believe I’m getting there.

Every day, you’ve just got to keep trying. Sometimes it’s a win, sometimes it’s a revelation. Every time, it’s an opportunity, and even what looks like a failure is just life saying to try another road. Keep looking. Stay aware for the little signs along the way (such as which way I was working one way in my sketchbook and another at the easel). Be ready for when the light comes shining through.

Until tomorrow, happy adventuring.