I have been making sketches for the second of the koi paintings, redoing the same motif over and over as a way of thinking about it. I am like an actress learning her lines. The lines I learn, however, are the ones I draw. I rehearse the gesture of making these lines, of thinking about the composition as a whole, of thinking alternately about the shapes of the fish and about the shapes of the water in which they swim.
One morning while working at the computer, I thought: what the heck, and I did this digital drawing using a paint program. The motif is copied from the oil painting, which is still just blocked in. So this computer “study” postdates the actual painting and develops simultaneously with it. I’ll post the canvas in a bit. Since beginning the lay in of the picture I’ve also made two drawings of different sizes.
It is much harder for me to control the lines on the computer, yet it’s interesting and challenging in ways that resembles playing a computer game. I find that doing a picture in a paint program has a “technique” just as do other media. I haven’t begun to master the use of the paint program with its switching between tools by grabbing them with the touch bars. I didn’t always have the tool icon that I thought I had and was “undoing” as much as I was doing — something that not even the use of an erasure quite matches.
In the traditional media of the artist, there is usually not much of undoing that one can do — just a going forward or a beginning again.