Every now and then, I find myself working on some very repetitive, detail-oriented aspect of a painting. They are few and far between, but always stand out in my mind as accomplishments...not because i'm terribly impressed with the result, but because I made it through without going crazy. They tend to take forever to paint, and I spend much of the time both excited about the final result, and seriously regretting the idea in the first place. I bring this up, because I am currently attempting to paint this (at right). this is the photoshop comp I project onto a mostly finished painting. this painting is 4ft. x 4ft. first off, I HATE painting with a projector.* second, this painting is big...it will take forever. there are times where painting something like this is therapeutic and oddly comforting; a few years ago I worked on a piece called "judge and jury"** that had a repeating background pattern that took me three months to complete (below).it was very detailed work, and I came to really look forward to the three or four hours I would spend on it every day. It was a strain on the eyes, and I painted most of it with a tiny brush and an exacto knife, but it wasn't too bad.
this current painting was/is tough. very repetitive, and pretty challenging considering I don't feel there's too much leeway painting specific fonts. On top of the sheer amount of time painting all the text will take, I also am torn over how distracting it would be filling the entire background. so i'm gradually filling them in, strategically placing phrases evenly until the whole thing looks right. we'll see how it turns out.
*I use them very infrequently, and only to layout certain elements of a piece that need to be symmetrical, or a perfect circle, like this text. i'll very loosely block in the letters, just enough for me to know where they go, then turn the projector off so I can work in regular light. I've heard people actually paint entire paintings with those things on...I can't imagine spending so much time painting in the dark without the ability to stand directly in front of the painting.
**This piece "judge & jury" was the last painting I did before I figured out how to more accurately paint figures. back then, I was painting with a lot of flesh toned paints, instead of mixing flesh tones from scratch.