Tuesday, January 8, 2013

30 in 30, #6 – Left Behind

"Left Behind", 5"x5", oil on panel
There is a time in almost every painting I do that I call the "why do I think I can do this?" moment. I start out pretty excited – a subject I like, fresh piles of paint on the palette, I may even nail the sketch. Blocking in shapes may go okay. And then, yuck. While I was working on values, I messed up the composition. Or I got carried away following my drawing before realizing that a major horizon line is chopping my focal point in half (I do that one a lot). Usually I can step way back, squint, turn the painting upside down, go make a cup of tea and feed the cat, and then come back and figure out how to fix it. Sometimes the fix is to scrape it off with a knife and start over (did that on yesterday's bowl of mums). Sometimes I just need to keep going and it comes together. And then sometimes it doesn't, and I consider that a lesson piece.

This painting worked pretty well. I'm still in mums-land and wanted to play with the greys again. I sketched in the shapes and quickly realized that the bowl at the top wasn't working. Easy; wiped it out. As I was finishing the two larger mums, I decided a third was needed and there was a little one on the table ready for me. So I never really hit crisis mode with this one; the adjustments came pretty smoothly. I don't think I even had a cup of tea while painting it.

started with the bowl but didn't like the composition

oil sketch (bowl later wiped out)

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