Put in another few hours on the current piece today and a useful juncture for me to explain a bit more about motivation and process. Switching to a new (to me) technique which goes imprimatura> piambura> verdaccio> final glazes. Well, if it was good enough for the Masters, it's good enough for me to have a whirl with :) Currently on the third working of piambura, which is using white to gradually build up form and shadow. Now, to an explanation...
The image on the left was a three hour alla prima painting I did some weeks ago - the immediacy is, of course, great for speed but it's to the detriment of the finer nuances of flesh and underlying anatomy. It's quite clumsy when you look at it. The image on the right is where I'm currently at with the rework.
There is a considered subtledty in piambura, where you are painting in a much more sculptural way (for want of a better description) - teasing out the slight shadow cast by a hip on the turn; softening the structure of a clavicle through gently instating the flesh that covers it; delicately observing the weight of gravity upon the body; finding the very edge of the deepest gradient of value needed before the darks of the shadows; sinking those shadows down further with burnt umber. Constantly assessing, and re-assessing, light, form and hidden structure.
I'm often asked why I usually paint nudes. The explanation is, perhaps, articulated best through the process I've just described of the piambura stage.