Friday, October 14, 2011

work in progress... Apple and Cloth 6x6

I feel like I've been having trouble painting lately. So, I just thought I'd share what I've been doing...  I've noticed I haven't been taking the time I should in really thinking through what color I am mixing, and using and why. I start a painting and rush ahead, wanting to get it finished.  I make too many mistakes and wind up correcting and getting too much paint on the surface.  I scrape it off and go at it again.  It's like I'm just guessing at what color to put down and hoping it looks right. And when it's not right, I get disappointed! Well, duh!!  So,  I wanted to slow down, and start from scratch.   I thought an apple and cloth might be a good, uncomplicated subject to start with.  I started with a sort of value study.  There had been a "value" painting challenge on Daily Paintworks a few weeks ago, that was to do a painting using 4 values, black, white, light gray and dark gray.  I kept my attention on doing that, and took my time. 
When I decided to start using color, I really slowed myself down, and used only the tiniest bit of paint.  Just a whisper of color.. and then I'd sit and think about where to go next. 
Instead of staring and squinting at a certain area in the subject to judge the color or value,  I have started to only glance for a moment,  not aiming my gaze at a certain point, but just getting a sense of the area peripherally. And instead of squinting, I found that just relaxing my eyelids and tipping my chin up a bit to see is easier on my eyes.  It seems the longer I stare, the more time my eyes have to focus on what I'm looking at, and to adjust to the brightness, then my sight is dulled to the true contrasts and colors.  I went on to finish this painting, just haven't taken a picture of it yet.  I like how it came out, and I had a nice painting experience.  I remembered how pleasant and relaxing painting can be, and should be... I can't wait to try again tomorrow :-)


  1. It's lovely, Debbie. You seem to be working through this difficult time with ease. Keep at it. We are right there with you.

  2. For me the squint is good for simplifying mass/shape. But that tends to make color darker with my vision. Flashing the eye back and forth to see color tends to works best, but this seems to vary with different people. I think the answer is in what you are doing, direct observation.
    Great work.

  3. thanks for sharing . . . I know that the end result is wonderful!

  4. Apparently, each one of us think the same about our painting work, one day or the other.And it was useful to read what you did !Thank you, and the result is beautiful!

  5. I do the exact same thing as far as trying to rush the process. Mainly this is because currently I only have a finite amount of time to spend painting, and I know I won't revisit a painting after I walk away from it unless forced.

    Your paintings are beautiful! So happy to have found your blog!

  6. I could have written what you said! I too rush my work and often just guess the colour and hope it'll work, I don't get into therories and whatever, I think I am drawing and simply applying the colour as I see fit, and often, probably because of this I have far too much paint on the board so have to scrape it off and rework it, so frustrating. I have been working of some simple watercolours lately without too much colour and am pleased with the results but feel I am missing something.

    I love you work and think whatever it is you are doing you're doing it just right


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