I’ve had this idea for a while now that I could do two paintings side by side of the same subject in about the same time as doing one. This is my first experiment to test my theory.
I set up my portable paint box to hold two panels side by side. I taped them together on the back and put tape tabs at the top of each panel and clipped them to the easel. This worked well and was quite stable.
The other idea I wanted to try was to use kitchen sponge pieces as home made painting tools.
If you look closely, you can see a couple of small square green sponge pieces in the middle of the shelf and two small round sponge brushes sticking up in the holes on the right side of the shelf between a #6 round brush and an eyedropper. I made these by sticking a piece of sponge on the end of a piece of plastic straw. Also notice that I used two juice bottle white plastic caps as paint mixing wells.
I didn’t do any layout or pre-drawing. Instead I jumped right in applying colors. I started on the left hand panel and daubed on color with one of the green sponge pieces. I then moved over to the right hand panel and made similar marks. I continued doing this with different colors working first left and then right. This quickly established the composition and color and value schemes. Next I switched to a smaller sponge brush and added lighter values first on the left and again on the right. I then added darker values working the same way. Finally, I used the #6 round brush to smooth and blend some areas and to add some additional detail. This is a nice working combination when painting alla prima (wet-in-wet all in one go).
I’m pleased with this little experiment. It confirms my belief that I can paint two as easily as one and I found that doing two simultaneously has the added benefit of letting me experiment on the first one and apply my discoveries and make corrections on the second. I also like using the sponges. They give interesting textures and allow me to apply textured color quickly across the entire panel.
One of my reasons for doing two paintings was I could keep my favorite and sell the other. However, now that I see them side by side, I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that they are so similar because I used the same palette and techniques. I like how loose and abstract they are up close yet look almost photo realistic from a distance.