Head Study of Mr. T

18.25" x 17" oil on shellacked cardboard. This was painted several years ago and I had not planned on posting it, but I bumped into the model a few days back and he asked if he could see it. So, here's the two birds with one stone posting. At the time this was painted, I was experimenting with shellacked cardboard. When cardboard is coated with amber shellac, it develops this beautiful color that is a wonderful ground for flesh. I would often go back in and rub out areas to reveal it or not paint over key areas and use it as my middle-tone flesh color. It is a little slick, a bit like painting on glass.

Dan McCaw on Using the Cheap Stuff: "One thing that can inhibit your experimentation is valuing your materials too much. We often say to ourselves, "Well, my idea is not good enough for these expensive materials. I'll wait until tomorrow until I have a better idea." To get yourself past that kind of hang-up, commit to practicing on cheap materials. Get a piece of cardboard, gesso it and start painting and drawing on it. Don't let materials or expense hold you back. Start with simple things and get moving."

Posted February 26, 2009
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