Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Beginning of a Painting

Usually I show a few stages of my paintings, but I leave out the stages I think might be tedious or well, downright boring.  Unfortunately for you, this time I'm going to show every step and discuss what it's all about.

So here's the photo:

                                  4                          1                           2                   3

Underneath each section is a number.  The numbers refer to the order in which I painted them.  I suddenly realize they look like a study for a Halloween something or other!  Actually they are four stormy sky studies.  I think they would have photographed better if I had taken a picture of each alone.  Number 4 (the first in line but the last one I worked on) shows the color I used in all four - indigo.  

I'm going to dissect them in the order painted.  

Number one has green, lemon yellow, and purple in addition to the indigo because I believe those colors belong in a sky and especially in a stormy one. Also I plan to use those colors in the landscape that will eventually be the finished painting.   Having those colors in the sky will help unify the painting.  In this study I used a wet brush with no paint on only the areas that are now painted.  That means the paint could flow only where the "wet" was.  Next time I try this technique, I will study the photograph more carefully and use the indigo more sparingly - at least at first. There wasn't a lot of "room" for a visible "hint" of the additional colors I added.  Sharon liked what I was doing but suggested I try yellow ochre instead of the lemon yellow which she felt was to opaque in a chalky way.

In number two, I brushed water over the entire surface then I added the indigo, and because the surface was too wet I had to wait for it to set up a little.  Once it did I was able to add yellow ochre, green, and purple.  What did I learn?  I used too much water since it's not a technique I use often and haven't enough practice.  Practice with this technique more is lesson one!  I don't like the yellow ochre and will stick with the lemon yellow.  I also think I'll let the lemon yellow and green mix on the paper to yield a chartreuse.  Sharon agreed with me about the ochre. 

Number three, I was paying attention to the photograph in this one and also using water over the entire surface - but less of it!  The indigo was painted quite deliberately in places where the clouds in the painting seemed the darkest.  However, when I took a step back all I was aware of was all that dark like a straight line right down the middle of the painting!  Arggh!!!  I think I tried a bit of orange and gamboge (a super almost Velveeta cheese color), but I'm not sure.  I do know Sharon and I discussed pyrrole orange (mine is a very red orange but more transparent than any of the cadmium yellow, orange, or reds), gamboge, and lemon yellow, and I will try them in the next studies.  Anyway, I gave up on this one and went on to number four.

Time ran out before I was able to finish working on the last study, but I was more careful with both the amount of water and the amount of indigo I applied to the paper.  In this one I was able to pull the blue out into the wet area (instead of having almost a puddle into which the paint gleefully feathers itself).  What remains to be seen is whether or not I have learned from #1 - 3 and can now layer the next colors successfully!

I have a feeling I'll need to finish #4 and do maybe four more studies before I go on to the landscape studies.

Any suggestions, E?

1 comment:

  1. I really like #4 - but then I like blue. I'm also not really able to distinguish all the different colors in the sky or anywhere else to make it look real. Love that I have a friend who does!!