Head Study No.3, No.4
These are little. I have some larger canvases in various stages sitting around in the studio, but I hate working on them if I don't have a nice chunk of time to fully immerse myself into the process. It takes a few hours just to get to that point of immersion and involvement, and to have to stop before getting something accomplished is really irritating to me.
Unfortunately, I rarely have more than an hour at a time to work, so I don't get much done. Plein air? forget it. It would take me an hour just to get to a destination and set up!
However, I discovered recently that I can do little head studies in a very short amount of time, and take it from start to finish within an hour; nothing spectacular or show-worthy, but completing a painting is very satisfying. And it keeps my hand from rusting up. Why it took me till now to figure out how to make good use of an hour here, and an hour there, I don't know; I assume it's because I wasn't trying hard enough. Well, I KNOW that's the case. It's always the case!
I've started numbering these heads from the point of this "discovery". So I'm on number 4. Kind of funny to see such a small number when I've done thousands before, but it's refreshing and humbling to start anew. None of the four I've done are from life. The first one I did using a charcoal drawing by Sargent. The next three are just made up. I'm not picky about my references, or whether I even have one for that matter - these are just little exercises and I'm just doing them to keep one foot in the studio and finding little satisfactions when I can.