Wednesday, January 11, 2012

UPDATE: Abstract Turned impressionistic Landscape

 This is pretty much the finished painting I started last week.  I added a few more reds, and removed some of the distracting darks in the top left corner in an effort to balance it out.  It might not ever feel quite finished because I really had no reference other than colors and shapes in my mind.  The second photo is some detail to show how I was letting some of the colors pool to form shapes, hopefully giving it a more loose feel.

   Posting Photos can be tricky.  I tried to add captions to each of these first 3 photos, but they showed up as one, so hopefully this isn't too confusing. The top 2 photos are my final update to the original post.  
The third photo from the top is of the first washes.  I planned on doing a loose abstratct watercolor, but my sketch had me worried that it was going t o be unbalanced
and bland, so I changed it to a landscape.
Forming an idea. I didn't yet know where I was going to go with this . Whether I was going for a snow scene or water scene or put a road in. (Maybe if I grew a large Afro I would know where to put some "happy little trees")... Everything was very loose.  I began to worry about the composition but sallied forth without much hesitation anyway.

After laying in some light red and yellow ochre, the painting began to show a little more depth. I am now at the stage where some finishing touches will be made where necessary. Some things are not making sense, but I am happy with the overall composition.  With this one exception.  This looks like 2 paintings so I have been trying to tie the right side in with the left.
I got up early this morning and decided to paint the abstract painting that was floating around in my head. When I sat down to sketch it I started to worry because  I didnt have a solid idea in place and could feel myself getting impatient. I wanted to get a painting done today, not spend all morning working on the composition. I knew the color scheme I wanted.  Earth tones with cool blues and some reds....
I started by making a quick sketch of some trees in the foreground and a stand of trees on the left.  I had no idea what the right background would look like, but I wanted to get to painting so I took a chance and threw some paint on.
At this point I was playing with fire, but I didn't care. I had blues scattered all over the place with a few trees blocked in and went to work.  As a result of my impatience, and lack of a reference photo, I spent a lot of time laying colors in, taking them out and putting others in. I was so impatient to get going, I didn't bother to use the 3 Ply Plate Bristol.  This would have allowed some nice "happy accidents" and the paper would have been more forgiving.  The cold pressed Canson 140lb I used actually does alright until you push too many washes too soon onto it. You can't blot it with a paper towel too much or the paper fiber starts to wear, leaving that overworked texture to it.


  1. You've done something I can't do - work from just imagination and what's in your mind and get that on paper - well done. You are obviously very aware of composition and values and colors so not much I can help with - I did think the left side needed to be tied in a bit more to the right - but that can be done with more blue-greens on the left side, I think. I like this and enjoyed seeing how you started and came to this point with it :) You did make me laugh about the Afro and happy little trees! ha ha Perhaps a touch of reds peeking here and there (you may have them but hard to see in a small pic on a blog always); and Canson paper is horrible to work on (at least, I've found it to be). Happy weekend and thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me an email.

    1. Thanks RH. I did a little bit more on this one this morning, but I am trying to dig out of my slump and I feel like starting something new. I will eventually finish the painting and post it. I always appreciate all comments and suggestions. As for the canson, I don't have an extensive list of papers that work for what I do to them during the process of painting. Since I do a fair amount of lifting and layering, I need something pretty tough. The Canson is designed to withstand some abuse and was readily available. For a longer term project, I would probably use something else.