Numbers. I’ve been into numbers lately. Numbers of paintings that is. You always have to remember that numbers impress. I had been working on my web comic for a while but I re-drew the first page so many times that I burnt out on the whole affair. I did finally finish the first page. At least I think so. After all I was so tired of looking at it that I never printed it out to give it a good once over on paper. That’s when I’ll know it’s done for sure. When it looks good on paper. I went on to the second page and worked that pretty far along before I decided to put the thing down for a while and paint. There is a more immediate reality to painting than to digital art.

Doing a web comic involves a large amount of computer work. Since that is also how I earn my living I was tired of looking at a computer screen. There is much less of that when painting. There is still some since I do all of my basic color sketches on the computer but that’s only about ten percent of my process. Counting the time spent coloring, lettering, writing, and laying out my web comic I’d say at least fifty percent of the process is on the computer. That’s a fair amount of time. I’m working on methods of speeding things up but the time payoff on that isn’t for a while. I’m in the “doing extra work now to save work down the line” period. No wonder I’m tired of looking at the thing.

So I started doing some small paintings. I like to paint big but that also takes a lot of time and I am tired of things taking a lot of time. Sometimes more immediate gratification is needed. I dug into one of my books of small drawings that are the basis for most of my art and picked out five drawings to work up into eight inch by ten inch paintings. That’s my small acrylic painting size.

I usually do four of these small paintings at a time. Since I paint them in water based acrylic paint I can wait for one to dry as I work up another. With four going at once I can concentrate easier and keep things moving. Otherwise the waiting would destroy my concentration. I work up five images and after I do color sketches I pick four of them to work on. One in the batch is usually a clunker. The law of averages says so. That’s why I work up an extra. Always work up more images than you need. It saves time in the long run because trying to work the weakest image in a bunch (there always is one) into a strong image can be a colossal waste of time. Drop the weak one and move on. Come back to it some other day if you want but leave it alone for now.

It takes about three eight hour days to make four eight by ten paintings and that is a bit of time but it is still less time than it takes to make a large one. Or the time it takes to make my web comic. So starting last weekend I finished four such paintings as I alternated my paying graphics work with my painting. When I finished the four of them didn’t seem like much. That number wasn’t high enough. I needed to finish more. So by the end of the week I painted four more. The days have been long but still that number wasn’t big enough. I put four more on my easel that I worked on all weekend.

The thing I like about the small paintings is the variety of images that I can make. I love to make images far out and colorful. Images from the back of my brain somewhere that live on their own and I’m not even sure where they came from. I do an Impressionist stacking thing (hang them close beside and atop one and other) when I’m done with them so I can see them all at a glance and look how they all play off of one and other. That’s where the numbers come in. Four all together is okay, eight is more impressive, and with twelve it gets to be a lot. I’ve never painted twelve paintings in such a short time before. I hope its enough to satisfy my restlessness with not having finished my endlessly time consuming and maybe never to be finalized web comic. Time will tell.

I’ve used up the dozen pre-streched eight by ten canvases that I had on my shelf. If twelve isn’t enough and I want to do more of these painting I’ll have to order some more canvases real soon. Maybe. They sure are fun. But I sure am tired. Maybe twelve is enough.