The power of sticking with it

One of the things that I’ve learned to do in a live session is just to keep plugging away at it, even if you think it’s going badly. At least half the time, that work will pay off and the painting will turn the corner. This one started off with my trying a background color on my canvas and being shocked at how much it affected my transparent colors. I also had trouble deciding on a composition, then just couldn’t get the balance right between the space the guitar took up and the figure. There was a lot of commotion in the session that was distracting me, and it was hot in the room, too.

But perseverance has its rewards, as does belief that you might be able to pull it out of the bag. And after a couple hours, suddenly, BAM!, the painting started to come together. This is just a quick study (2.5 hours), but a few minor tweaks like toning down those shoes, and this is a keeper.

“Guitar,” 20×16, alla prima sketch, oil on canvas.

Ever had an experience like this yourself?

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