Friday, 28 February 2014

The Big Picture

In the studio I've been working on a big painting recently. Oil on canvas. Haven't worked in oils for a year.  The subject is based on this sketch I did of Loch Torridon, looking east.

I made a conscious decision to work on a big painting in oils. I reminded myself of Egon Schiele's approach and started in oil paints and turps, and pencil marks. I got it as far as this on the first day.

I was pleased with this, but it is a bit colourless really. I was wanting to try and capture the beauty of the scene but not be too heavy-handed. I find it more of a challenge working in oils, and have been determined not to lose a lightness of touch that I'm striving for in acrylics and I'm keen to capture in all my paintings.
As we've been up in these parts again this week, I wanted to do some extra colour studies. So I went back to my sketching place and did a couple of sketches in pastel.  First I focused on the long view. I was struck with how colourful the water looked. But I think now I was exaggerating this a bit.
Then I focused on the trees on the promontory. I really want this to be the focal point of the big painting.
When we got back to the cottage, I had a go at painting these views as studies, using acrylic and conte and pencil.  First the long view, trying desperately hard to capture the feel of the water in the loch, so many different subtle colour transitions.
And then the view of the trees, with the dark water and the bright trees. Thinking about colour relationships and juxtapositions...
Interesting....but where do I do from here?  Back into the studio on Monday. The big painting should be dry enough to work on, but the challenge for me is to retain that lightness of touch, I think.

Composition is so interesting, isn't it?

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