I'm a full-time oil painter living in the North Bay. Can be painting vineyards in Napa within 30 minutes of leaving my home or paint within walking distance of where I live on Mare Island. Impressionist Plein Air painting is my passion.
Les Gendarmes is a 30 x 40 oil painting I recently finished. Working on this complicated painting made me think about some of the differences in how one executes a large painting versus a small one. I have pushed myself to paint in various sizes. Certain compositions work better large such as this one. It would not have worked on anything much smaller as there is too much detail involved. Once I determine the size, I decide on the paint brush. Larger paintings require a larger brush. I used a one inch brush throughout the majority of this painting. A large painting can become overwhelming. To prepare myself mentally, I usually block out 3-5 days without much else that will distract me. I then focus on one area at a time. The statue was one of the last parts of this painting. It was so rewarding to paint. I could feel the anticipation build in me as other parts of the painting came together. Working on the same painting over a period of time transports me back to when I took the photo. I was on a Paris paint trip and remembered brisk weather, sounds of the horses and the relaxed atmosphere of this leisurely stroll along the Champs-Elysee's path. Large paintings also are best when loaded with varying amounts of paint. Thick paint in select parts and confident brush strokes are essential in the execution of a large painting. I am thrilled with the finished oil painting. I hope you agree.