At this point in the painting I’m evaluating the composition. It is pretty basic, one object in the center of the picture plane. Not too challenging, but this is a study of a caribou I remind myself. It is easy to get lost in the dots and overwork the painting at this stage, it is very important to continuously view it from a distance. Since I am babying my arm and shoulder I’ve chosen to work flat on the drafting table, so that I don’t have to hold my arm extended out front for long periods of time as I would if I were using an upright easel. So, it is easy to forget to step back from the painting, place it on the easel (preferably upside down) and view it from a distance. I’m not satisfied with the large space of blue on the top two thirds of the painting, I’ll tackle this next plus start work on the caribou itself. I’m procrastinating working the caribou because it is so hard to do tiny subjects with dots.
Right now I’m congratulating myself for holding off tackling a large major canvas. So far the shoulder is working great, but I have to stop often relieve my right hand, it keeps going to sleep (carpal tunnel). It needs surgical correction and I can’t even fathom that at the moment.
Gail Niebrugge, wildlife artist