I first conceived of the concept for block painting in the summer of 2009 and I wrote it down in my sketchbook. I was working on large scale portraits at the time and wanted to somehow three dimensionalize the image by constructing an unconventional canvas. It wasn't until that fall that work started on my first block painting, (...IEVE).
Here is the process:
I gather wood and cut it into uniform lengths then cut it into blocks. After cutting, all the edges need to be filed and next each block is primed. I grid out the photograph I am using for the painting and arrange the blocks according to where it is on the face.
After everything is laid out I begin the painting process. Most of the blocks will stay in place throughout the painting stage but some of them are removed and painted individually if there needs to be more detail.
Chuck's dome. Chuck Close half way through glueing.
I build a frame and begin the glueing process. Once that is done, out come the brushes to complete the final details. In the case of Chuck Close, I waited to paint his glasses until this stage to make sure everything was still aligned after glueing.
In all, a block painting can take from three weeks to several months to complete.