This is my first daily painting in a few weeks. It is nice getting back to them as I like the small format and how they lend themselves as a means to investigate ideas and new concepts.
I have already shared some insights gained from the Harold Speed book The Practice and Science of Drawingand again I am struck by a comment he makes in the last paragraph of the Unity of Line chapter. “the small picture easily comes within the field of vision, and the whole impression can be readily grasped without the main lines being, as it were, underlined. But in a big picture one of the greatest difficulties is to get it to read simply, to strike the eye as one impression.” For a couple of weeks I have been chewing on this idea, as it strikes me as something very important to strive for and to learn how a small format painting, such as my daily paintings, hone some specific skills, such as attention to detail, creating a sense of depth through finish and intricate brushwork. Where with a larger format, detail may be required in some parts, but what is most important is to strive for unity in the entire piece so it can be absorbed in one impression, the first time a viewer has a chance to observe it in life. Then after the first impression, the viewer can go onto investigating further and absorb more of the nuances that make up the painting, but this should not overpower a large format painting. In a small format painting these nuanced details actually accentuate and add to the initial impression.
Now that I am getting back into the smaller format daily paintings, this thought really strikes home.