Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Background - Keeping It Loose

With so many improvements and maintenance jobs to attend to outside, I've vowed to limit my painting sessions to those dismal days when it's too cold and wet to venture outdoors. Unfortunately for my painting ambitions, our first month of winter has brought little in the way of rain; instead, bitterly cold mornings have given way to mild daytime temperatures and sunshine, and I've been able to accomplish a lot around our little property - as my painting sits neglected!

Thankfully, a reprieve in the form of a grey, rainy day has at last allowed me to devote a few hours to this painting. Although my natural tendencies were calling me to begin work on the lion - the star attraction - it's a great comfort to me that I've been able to ignore that familiar siren song; the lion remains little more than an undeveloped raw sienna blob at this stage - as it should!

In between painting sessions I'm giving a lot of thought to developing a process that will stand me in good stead in the future. Part of that process will involve some pre-planning, so in spare moments, and even when I wake occasionally through the night, I find myself mentally rehearsing how I'll tackle the next stage. Hopefully, a considered and patient approach like this will become the new normal for me; it's certainly more likely to yield satisfactory results than the method I've applied previously, which could best be described as ad-hoc.

As I gradually work my way to the foreground, the shrubs and grasses I'll depict will quite obviously overlap more distant vegetation. It seems logical, therefore, to commence the colour stage of this painting working on the most distant area of the landscape first.

Given my past tendency towards detail and tiny brushes, I've had to have a word with myself occasionally as I strive to keep my brushwork loose, reminding myself that colours and shapes can undergo adjustment once this first pass of colour is dry. As you can see, I've tried to enhance the illusion of distance by reducing contrast, detail and intensity of colour.

As always, constructive criticism, comments and suggestions are welcome.


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