Friday, March 19, 2010

Some Lessons Learned

I wanted to title this post, "A Failed Start" but opted for the more optimistic title seen above. What began as preparation for a large multi-figure painting about the Lotus Eater episode in the Odyssey became a gradual admission of my inability to pull it off...At least right now. I began last summer with a couple of compositional posters out of my head. I advanced to figure drawing with a few models, rotating out various poses and completing a new compositional sketch from the selected poses. What became obvious was the enormous cost involved in continuing the pre-production of this painting and the model cost in doing a 5 figure painting from life. I may revisit the project in the future with appropriate resources but for now I'm working on a different 2 figure painting that in the end seems hardly less complicated than this one. I do feel like this project, as arrested as its development was, gave me a bit more experience in planning complicated multi-figure compositions. Ultimately this is the kind of thing I want to paint so I don't regret any steps that take me in that direction. Most of the posted drawings were done in the 20-40 minute range (with the exception of 1 or 2). I wanted to have a lot of pose options as I put them all together. When I get done with the painting I'm working on now, I'll post some of the preparatory work with it.


  1. Great post Scott. I see that you are dealing with a very complicated painting, and the preparatory work that you were doing is really admirable (and for sure, it will bring you great payoffs)

    I don't see it as a failure. At maximum, just an indication of a budget limitation, that force to think in different options, right?

    By the way, I found great the poster studies.
    There are so much in them!

  2. These look great! I hope you keep going with these!

  3. Thanks Guys! I hope I can keep going with these too.
    Ariel, you're right, it did force me to think of other options. The two-figure painting I'm working on now instead has benefited from some of the technical issues I had in the Lotus Eaters. For one, I was trying to assemble 5 poses from models posing at different times. In the current one, I had the models pose together so that I could more easily convey a believable spatial relationship between them.

  4. Great to see these!