As you can see, I’ve made a start on the water, using modified splodges. One of the more thought provoking aspects of this technique is working out the sequence of the marks. If I want to retain their integrity, they need to be arranged so that I don’t disturb the shape. The shapes in the water themselves are pulled downwards, so the lower edge can be covered with the next stroke. The mental acrobatics required to mirror the trees while also working out the sequence are tiring!
Looking at the photo, I’m quite pleased with the result so far. The water does look to be a different texture to the trees. However, there is a huge reflection of the sky to be painted. Normally, I complete the reflections, leave them to dry, then slash in the light over the top. That will not be possible this time.
I’ve carried on splodging, but, as usual, there is more to this than meets the eye.
Nearly every splodge on the original is a different colour, and they are all more dragged than mine. The colouring, though very varied, is harmonious. Mine look like stacked plates falling over!
They are also very less varied. I find that I become more adventurous when I paint every day. Despite lockdown, that hasn’t happened recently. I lose my vision and nerve through lack of practice! Quite a few of my projects are reaching fruition, and I’m turning to painting once again – frustrated only by poor light. The coming Hazel Soan workshop will provide even more impetus!
Though this is not a style I would want to adopt, by doing this exercise, I am learning so much about the painting we own. The skill of the artist in choosing colours and tones, and in seeing the scene in this way, is impressive, and my pleasure in looking at the painting is enhanced.
It’s fun to do, so I shall continue the experiment, trusting that I improve my rendition in view of the comments above. The water is going to be interesting, for there is a a big patch of reflected light as well as the reflections in the water itself. Which blues go with those greens, yellows and russets, I wonder.
Over the years, we have collected a number of paintings, largely oils, in a wide variety of styles. In fact we reckon to have at least one painting of some kind that appeals to every visitor. As my painting skills improved, I have studied them carefully. As ever, I wanted to know “How he, it’s usually but not always “he”, did it. Repainting the bedroom means changing pictures to those that benefit from the new colour scheme, and that means you see each painting anew. This is one of those rediscoveries.
Its appeal is in the joyous splodges that entertain the eye. The cloud race by; that’s definitely a willow on the far bank; how does the splodgy water look so wet? Those splodges need a closer look.
They are nearly all rounded at the top and then dragged down a little. The tool is a palette knife, certainly, but which shape? I experimented with my dozen or so and discovered that my very first palette knife was the best at recreating that shape. Its rounded end actually fitted the splodges on the painting.
I had begun an oil some time ago. in fact it is the subject of “Back to oil painting” in the post of July 30th 2020. So much has happened since then that I never had a chance to complete it. I decided to take it off in a new direction and make it the basis of my splodges.
Paint is loosely mixed on the palette, then a splodge sized amount is taken on the knife and carefully squished in place – very satisfying.
This is as far as I have gone to date. I need to awaken my “interesting colour choice” brain, but the enterprise is just right for lockdown!
After working on my portrait of Higgy, I thought that separate practise of eyes, noses and mouths might help me create a living face. The medium is watercolour pencils, since I can use them in any room in the house. There is also the possibility that they would militate against being too detailed. My collection is for landscapes so I have a limited choice and that may be a good thing as well. So here are some of them.
These are all taken from photographs, since the only model I have at present is me, and there is a limit to how long I want to look at me, even when in analytical mode.
The colouring is crude since I haven’t used the pencils enough to get the measure of them. Number three looks like two different people, or a fellow with a slowly closing black eye! But what I have learnt is that I usually try to put in too much detail and that life comes not from micro-accuracy, but from a few well observed shapes. I have promised myself to try again in watercolour paint, and in oils, too.