Saturday, September 11, 2010

In-Progress: Morgan County Courthouse Commission

I haven't used this blog enough to show works in progress. Part of the reason is that I do work quickly, and to interrupt the process to take photographs is distracting. At other times, I just don't remember to record the process as it develops.

Currently I am working on a commission to paint a portrait of the Third Morgan County Courthouse, which stood in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The courthouse opened in 1908 but, sadly, was destroyed by fire in 2006. A new courthouse has been under construction since then, and it will open later this month. The patron of this commission is donating the painting to Morgan County so that it can be permanently displayed in the new facility.

As you can see from this image, the piece is well on its way. I typically ground all of my canvases in cadmium red acrylic paint before starting the actual oil painting. For this project, I took special effort to create a solid underdrawing (in burnt sienna paint) from which to build the final work. The areas of bright red in this photo indicate areas I still have to work up. The sky is essentially complete, as is much of the clocktower. I plan to spend most of this weekend on the project and hope to complete it this week so that it has time to dry before delivery. I'll be sure to post a photograph of the final canvas.

"Third Morgan County (WV) Courthouse, 1908-2006." Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches. Currently in-progress.

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