Monday, April 23, 2012

"By A Nose"

6x6", oil on canvas board

We continue. The massing is going pretty well. And the shadows. I need to think about whether I want details like those lines down the petals; I like to put in a few, but I'm beginning to think they don't add much.

This piece presents lessons in working the background. Like, decide whether you want the strokes to be random or in a specific direction. These strokes support the way the flowers are leaning out and make it look like they're racing (hence the title). I also like to let some of the underpainting show through; makes it feel more honest. I've also found that it's nice to have kind of a lighter area around the objects I'm painting. It highlights them and makes them come forward.

Another issue I started to work on was putting down a lot of paint. It's one of the truisms of painting, and I wanted to play with it. And, yes, I'm discovering that the first layers should be thinner and drier, and they get thicker and wetter as they build up. If you don't make the bottom layer dry, then the paint that's on your brush during later layers just pushes the existing paint around. You want the new paint to be willing to exit the brush and sit on top of existing paint.

OK. Complementary colors, some energy, the focal point is nicely off center. I still need to work on the glass and water, more colors in the background, like maybe a warm and cool of the same color, and maybe some perspective. But things are improving.

UPDATE: I had some process pictures on a different camera. Here they are:

You can see that I'm painting on black. Above, finding some bright bits to play with. Then, below, using my yellow/orange mixes to create flower shadow right from the beginning. I sometimes prefer paintings at this phase. There's something raw about them.

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