Here's yesterday's checklist:
1. Start dealing with the whole of the piece.
2. Correct the anatomical issues in the hip area.
3. Start finishing up that uniform.
4. Have Valentine visit a head shrinker.
Yup. I think I've dealt with the lot. Not that there isn't room for improvement on any of them, but I think we're on our way.
After the Day 4 post, I received an email from the author with some notes on the piece. I know what some of you reading this might be thinking. Uh oh. Yeah, I left myself open for that. I'm doing this series of posts as I'm working, before the job is due. That means the client is free to pick all kinds of nits. But like I said, I knew what I was doing, which means that I deserve what I get. That being said, the notes were very helpful, and I really don't take issue with any of it. They're not the kind of thing that require a complete overhaul, and I'll be incorporating them as best I can as I progress.
To be sure, notes from the client aren't the only danger when doing this kind of thing. Exposing your process is a little like ruining the magic. For some, the finished project being born from the ether is what's important. Finding out how something came to be can take the luster off of that. Also, you can open yourself up to criticism of your process in general. There might be some step you take that someone may disagree with or may know a shortcut for. Talking about the "how" of it all invariably opens you up to the various "why's". Why aren't you covering more ground each day? Why did you paint that thing that color? Why aren't you treating the piece more wholistically? These may be valid criticisms, but they can throw you off your game in the middle of things if you don't know how to take them.
I think the important thing to keep in mind is that your process is just that: yours. I think it's the quirks of how we go about things that can help define our work sometimes. For example, I paint a lot on dry paint. I know that other people reject such a thing because they are hardcore about only painting wet on wet. But my process works for me. It's part of the reason my work looks the way it does. Painting wet on wet is part of the reason their work looks the way it does. Is one better than the other? Is one more valid? I don't really know. But I see it this way: we each do what we have to do to get the job done. Still, all that being said, it's equally important to be open to new ideas and ways of working. It can change your world for the better.
Okay, so where do we stand? What's next?
I'm going to try and get the figure a little closer to finish, do another pass on the background, and block in the crows. They're an important part of the composition and value structure, so the sooner they appear the better, I think. I think I'll also need to supplement my reference again to help with the snow being plowed by the worm in the background, and am considering doing a quick and dirty maquette of the worm itself to make sure the lighting plan for it in my head is accurate and to correct that plan if it is not.
Now, off to work with me!