Friday, January 10, 2014

Daily Painting Practice - Day 10 - Thumbnails to color study

The one that got away.

This is a tale of the painting that got away from me. It happens a lot to every artist, paintings that go in a different direction than the one we planned on. It helps to know this but a cup of tea does a better job of soothing the hurt art ego. 
My day started out on a happy note... actually it started as a thumbnail sketch.
These sketches are ideas scribbled on paper and sometimes are truly the size of my thumb. However this one started just a little bit larger.

Here's the sketch and my recycled 5"x7" panel. The panel started life as a different 30 portraits in 30 day challenge a few years back.  I'll do a post in the future on how I recycle my panels.
Since the painting is being conceived in my mind, I must decide on the feeling I wanted to convey. This decision would help me determine the colors I use  and the story of this little painting could begin. 
 The launching went smoothly. I even pre- mixed some clean  colors.
The scene I wanted was early morning, a wave catching the first light of day in the open sea. The painting started to take form.
I was thinking and paying particular attention to values and color temperature. So far the voyage  was smooth sailing. But clouds were on the horizon... (in this case in the fore ground.)

I thought I was doing really well at this point. I even  found myself  repeating the techniques I have read about that other artists use. My head was swimming with things to watch out for.
Don't get too thick too fast!
Watch your edges!
Don't blend with the brush so much!
One tip that came to mind right at this point was to make sure I didn't break up the value masses into a million different pieces. It's a subtle thing but it makes a big difference in holding the painting together.

"Keep it together!" I heard that voice in my head a lot. 
But it was too late. The paint got thicker and thicker and  my palette was starting to pool into mud thicker than ... well mud. I felt lost, my control drifting away.
Choppy Seas

The feeling I had at the beginning and almost caught, is the one that got away. 

1 comment:

Susan Cushing said...

Appreciating your honesty and clarity in describing the process whether it's a successful painting for you or not. Learning to see what you are doing helps my observations about my own work. Thanks.