This is the beginning of a new 4th of July painting. I hadn't planned on doing it today, but I went into the studio looking for something else (I've already forgotten what) and came across this oblong piece of plywood that seemed to be begging for a parade painting. I thought I would just sketch it on, then put on just a few colors to seal the wood. This is the stage that I love the most. I wish I could leave it right there, but I can't. I am compelled to keep it going until I have made it look like my usual way of painting. It's not that I don't like my usual finished product, but I find this much more interesting. I like seeing the process. I also like seeing how little it takes to make a likeness of someone. These people have no faces yet, but they still are individuals. You can already see the relationships between them. You know something of their personalities, and you certainly know what they are doing. I photographed my other parade painting at this stage, too, for the same reason. It has suffered a decline in my affections ever since.