The Woman in Red Pants is not over-large so I finished the underpainting, shown here, in 2 sessions. The Woman in Red Pants is 36″ x 48.”
We live in a great time when information about nearly every subject is at-hand, right? Create a battery? Create an electric motor? Build a house? There is also plenty of information about art making, but one topic I don’t see discussed is how to handle large paintings. The overwhelming majority of writers or Youtubers assume single-setting scale. Painting size is fixed by what can be completed in a single session, and the subject is limited for the same reason.
One artist that I watched said that he liked to finish paintings one section at a time, and then come back later to adjust and correct (he works in single-session scale). That’s fairly sound for small paintings but not for large ones. At some point, you have to work over the entire painting at one time. It’s better to do that initially to ensure the design is strong than later when you can find yourself ‘correcting’ everything.
If you feel that you’re in a single-session rut, try working on larger paintings; paintings that you know you cannot finish in a single session. Or, if your studio does not allow large format work, change the scale of your subject. Put a lot of figures or objects into your usual format, enough to ensure that you can’t finish at once.