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Scott Bakal
B&B
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Untitled | 20"x30" -ish | Oil on Panel
A couple of weeks ago, while at Rick Berry's studio...supposedly joining a group of other artists to draw from a model, Rick and I got to talking about art and we just gravitated to a panel he had previously prepared.  Everyone else was still sitting in front of the model sketching away on the other side of the studio while we started tinkering on this.  It started with Rick facing the opposite direction and randomly making marks on the board and from there...a figure emerged as we brought it out the abstraction.

I've worked like that before.  I would take a chamois loaded with charcoal and wipe down a board and then try to pull out forms.  This was many moons ago in the 90's when I was experimenting trying to figure things out for myself and it was really enjoyable.  I think this is the first time since then I worked on something similarly.

I've done a collaborative sketchbook with Rob Dunlavey a few years ago and in the middle of doing one with Alan Witschonke.  We would have the sketchbook to ourselves for a period of time - but I don't remember ever working - literally - together on the same piece at the same time with an artist.

While I was working on it, I couldn't care what was going on around me - just focus on things popping up around you on the board and try to embellish and improve what was growing in front of me.  There were no breaks.  As soon as I paused to get another oil stick, something else was already on the board and I had to react to it.  As soon as I, say, painted in the hair, Rick was throwing turp at it to get it to bubble up - which led to us placing the painting on the floor and both of us flinging tupentine at it - then back on the easel for more.  On and on for a couple of hours we ended up building this image.

What a blast to work with Rick!

All photos below by Kristen Uroda.
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Bakal is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!