Moving from Sketch to Canvas

July 1, 2019
Sam Vance

Please Be Aware of Oncoming Traffic. Goauche on paper

I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks. The combination of a much needed family vacation and then the return to general busy-ness has kept me from regular updates. But I have still been painting every day. It has become such an ingrained part of the routine that my family now asks me at the breakfast table, “What did you paint this morning?” On the one day that didn’t produce a painting before breakfast I sensed both disappointment and responsibility. So I made sure that I got one in that day.

Cle Elum Trading Post. Acrylic on Canvas 16″ x 20″

I have been moving from the small sketches into larger formats. Predictably, the larger the canvas, the longer it takes. Sometimes (due to the speed in which I am attempting to paint) the results aren’t always what I want. Monet was known to paint 9 or 10 canvases a day. Even for small to medium sized paintings, that’s fast.

Arcade. Goauche on paper

Not that speed is everything. I’m trying to find the balance between virtuosity and inspiration. Timing myself keeps the brush strokes loose and I have to live with both happy and some unhappy accidents. The one hour paintings I do with that 5 am cup of coffee are intended to be quick sketches, like the one above. I have to remind myself, “This is only a sketch,” before I breach the one hour mark and start obsessing about the details.

Closed. Acrylic on Panel 12″ x 18″

Where that pays off is at the other easels where I’m trying to have a couple of larger paintings going simultaneously. Whereas the morning sketches take an hour or so, this one took two or three. The goal here is to maintain spontaneity but allow for more detail as well as the size difference.

Fuel Coffee. Acrylic on Canvas 16″ x 20″

I will be offering prints of many of these pieces very soon. Keep your eyes open and thanks for visiting!

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