I jus bought five new 24×36 inch canvases. I wanted to buy ten but I can always buy five more later. Why did I want to buy ten? Only because they’e a buck a piece cheaper to buy them that way. That and I thought ten was a nice round number. It took me about two weeks to finally order them online from Dick Blick.

I had just finished completing my first large acrylic painting in quite a while and I was on a roll. At least in my mind. I had visions of buying ten new canvases and making ten new paintings over the summer. That seemed doable to me at that moment. Except ten of these canvases cost about $140. That’s not pocket change. Plus ten canvases over the summer (really a vague time period in my mind) was a lot of painting. So I ended up spending $75 on five canvases.

When the canvases arrived I didn’t have any paintings in mind that were ready to go. The last painting I did, “The Juggler,” was one that had been sitting around for 20 years. There was no prep work to be done on it. I had the image and color sketches all done from way back when so I started right away. There was none of that for my five new canvases. Just vague ideas.

I’ve made a lot of drawings over the decades. Some are turned into finished works and some not. Often when I’m stuck for idea I can look through all those drawings and find something I want to work on. It can be something that was never finished or it can be a finished image that I want to repurpose for something else. I occasionally like to rework stuff.

The first thing I did was go to my pile of 6×9 inch ink drawings. I’ve done a hundred of these over the last year so there are a lot of images to chose from. After looking through them I found three of them that I liked and thought would make good paintings. Then I did nothing with them. As soon as I picked them I lost interest. That’s never a good sign.

After that I dug out one of my old “Covers to Comic Books That Don’t Exist” series and decided to rework it for a painting. It was already a finished and inked drawing but it had a “Red Mary” logo on it. Plus it had been drawn to a be a finished 11×17 inch piece and it was now going to be 24×36 inches. Things don’t always scale up perfectly so I decided to redraw it with the new size in mind.

It was an easy redraw since it was already a finished drawing but there were certain things I had to pay attention too. First off I need the face to be more symmetrical than it was. It’s okay for a 2-3 inch tall face to be “Off” a little bit but when a face is 6-8 inches tall it better be as symmetrical as possible. One eye can’t be a half an inch higher than the other.

The second thing I had to do was add a little bit more form to her arms and hands. They are very cartoony in the 11×17 drawing and I didn’t think that would translate well to the larger version. I still kept the arms simple but I also added some flame sleeves on her arms. This adds a little more detail and gives me a place to add more color.

An odd thing I did to the drawing was to flip the bottom half of it. Her left hip is now her right hip. It adds some contraposto to the drawing that I think it needs. I don’t think that’s something I’ve done to a finished drawing before. It struck me that it would look better that way and it does.

The last thing I had to do was simplify the background. There were shapes with lots of lines in them and I had to ditch the lines. The shapes were fine but since this was going to be a painting it wouldn’t lend itself to such a black and white line based solution. All those shape will be filled with paint and the texture of the paint.

After the drawing was done I scanned it in and made a color sketch. And that was the extent of it. I didn’t start a painting. I don’t know why but after all that work I wasn’t as interested in it anymore. Art is like that sometimes so I put it aside.

Once again I don’t know why but I had no motivation to start a painting or think about starting another painting. I was in a floundering mood. That’s when I pulled out some of my “Dreams of Things” covers. I’ve done over a hundred of them over the years and I keep a handful of them in states finish so they’re ready to be either inked or colored with marker. So that’s what I did. First I inked a cover and then I colored another. That took up a couple of days of art time. When I was done with them I figured to start a painting. Except I didn’t. I still had no motivation.

Instead of painting I decided to make an ink drawing. I had a complex drawing already made for my next ink drawing but even that seemed to ambitious for the moment. Instead I went back into my stash of 6×9 inch ink drawing and found one that was a lot simpler to work on.

Though it was a simpler drawing it took me three days to finish. Paying work and other stuff had to be done before this drawing. But that was okay. I needed to take my time anyway. So what’s the conclusion of this? There is no conclusion just yet. I want to start a new painting but I still haven’t. I’m not sure if I’m going to start with the “Red Mary” one but I still might. I’m usually good at getting stuff done so I’m guessing I’ll eventually get some painting done.