"What's Next?" painting stage 4
This is what I often refer to as the "teenage phase." Parts of the painting are still very awkward, yet other parts seem to be working. Artists will often refer to this and the next several layers of applying paint as a push-pull process. I tap into my left-brain (analytical) to check on the composition and value relationships, while relying on my right-brain (intuitive) to mix and add colors, and to maintain the mood I want to convey. Notice also, that I have painted just an impression of the background hills & fields. I have only used a palette knife up through this phase of the painting.
How are you liking the development of the painting?
"What's Next" - painting stage 3
I keep forgeting to mention that I am using a palette knife and will continue to do so for another layer or two of painting. You can see that I have added texture for the stone wall and the stone steps, as well as on the rocks. It is during this stage, that I begin breaking down my large shapes into smaller ones, and I begin to give depth to the painting and model those parts that I want to read 3-D.
So were you correct in guessing the subject matter? FYI: these are centuries old steps going up into a dungeon high on a hill in Montcuq, France.
"What's Next?" - stage 2, oil on canvas
During this stage of the painting, I begin to refine my values yet maintain my large shapes. (For some reason I often "cheat" with my sky!) The colors are beginning to move toward the mood I am creating with the painting. I am always thinking about how these first layers ultimately support the idea I have in my mind's eye. Notice how the painting is becoming "warm" in color temperature. These early stages are also about creating the foundation or structure of the painting, therefore, I do check to see if I like the composition of the abstraction. This is a good time to turn the canvas side ways and upside down.
Should I keep it more of an abstraction or move onto the original subject?
Under painting for "What's Next?"
Whenever I have been in a mental funk or feeling sluggish, painting has always been my solace; it gets my juices running. As I process the tragic death of a generous friend, I pushed myself into the studio today to begin a new painting. Interestingly, the title, so far, is appropriately "What's Next?"
The inspiration for this painting comes from one of our castle explorations during our recent trip to France. This is an underpainting using colors straight out of the tube, with the exception of mixing with white where needed. (I believe that it is easier to dull a color than to brighten one.) I always attempt to keep the first layer of a landscape to 7 or fewer shapes. The shapes, or puzzle pieces, are based on those areas of the painting that are in the sunlight (i.e., yellow, pink, lighter pink & orange) versus those that are in the shade (blue, aqua & magenta). I also keep my darks connected. Acrylic paints are used for this stage of the painting.
My painting surface was previously gessoed using a large palette knife; this adds an overall subtle texture to the painting.
And the subject of this painting is? Stay tuned!