At The Easel

I always say, "I wish I could finish my paintings faster."

Though I could make that happen if I was honest about that. For instance, I could paint in acrylics. That would speed up drying time. But I don't. I paint in oils, and oils need time. It's the nature of the medium.

Wishes aside, my paintings take time. Sometimes they live in my mind for years and don't even start with a canvas and brush. They begin with a moment and an experience of "WOW–damn, that's cool."

One of the paintings I have on my easel right now is BIG. Four feet long by three feet high. It needed to be life-sized.

The painting has been in my head since I snapped the photo in October 2018, one night in Hội An, Vietnam. That's where it starts. I often make a drawing of the memory in my sketchbook beforehand, though, for this, I didn't. Perhaps because it's been percolating in my mind for so long.

Here are a couple of videos showing this piece's beginning and near end. The first video shows reference drawing and early underpainting. This is the messy start–what I like to call the "ugly duckling phase."

Here it is at about 97.36% done. At this point, it's so close there are only touches left, which can still take time. 

As I write this, the paint is wet, and every time I try to fix something, I could end up smudging it and giving myself more work to do. So I wait until it dries. Only a few days. 

Looking forward to showing you once it is done, and you can view the piece altogether. Please follow me on Instagram at @raquelauriniart to see the most recent updates.


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