Friday, 19 August 2011

Back in the Studio

I forgot to take my camera into the studio on Monday and so I've had to wait till today to record progress. I've been working on 2-3 pictures - 2 proper pictures and a wee extra thing. So here's how it's going so far.  Picture number one is of Kishorn Bay - based on the sketch I did sitting on the shore last week. When I got to the studio this emerging picture looked like this.
Emerging picture - Kishorn Bay
After a bit of work, adding a bit of pencil and trying to capture the sultry atmosphere, it started to look like this.
Emerging picture Kishorn Bay copyright Aileen Grant
I quite liked the sea in this and the shore, but I was not happy with the sky, so I did a bit more work and it ended up looking like this.
Emerging picture Kishorn View copyright Aileen Grant
It's coming along OK, I think. Well, I decided to leave it at this point. When I left the studio I thought this was finished.  On reflection, I think it may have lost a little freshness, but I hope this is not irretrievable. I just need a little distance now to consider whether or not it is really finished.

Picture number two that I'm developing is a view over to Applecross from Kishorn Bay. It's a difficult picture to do as the hills are so iconic - the view up the Bealach. I've drawn and painted it a few times and it has never turned out well, so this is a bit high risk. And this is a big picture.  Anyway, the start was this.

Emerging picture Applecross View copyright Aileen Grant
Actually, I quite liked this, but it's a bit like a watercolour.  I was using oil and turps. There's something quite purist about that first laying down of paint upon the canvas and a part of me wanted to stop there, but I just had to take it further, after all, I really wanted to try to capture the dark broodiness of these hills.  So the next stage was this.
Emerging picture Applecross View copyright Aileen Grant
Actually, looking at this now, I quite like this, but I thought the hills were a bit heavy-handed. On the other hand, I did like the angle and shape of the hills and the drama created by the shapes, and the freedom of the paint treatment. I was still being quite loose in the way I was using the paintbrush. But I decided to take the picture forward using the same technique I've been using recently, using horizontal bands of painting. So the next version emerged like this.

Emerging picture Applecross View copyright Aileen Grant
Is it better than the earlier versions? I'm not sure. Anyway, I was not sure what to do next, so I have left it in the studio at this point for the moment.

Oh and as a distraction, I made an attempt to re-do an earlier picture of trees at Inverleith Park. I think it turned out the best of the bunch today. Anyway, I like it better than all of these (it is a smaller picture and  not such a challenge and the reflection has (surprisingly) turned out in an interesting way). But I'll see what I think the next time I go to the studio......I may feel differently....

Inverleith Trees copyright Aileen Grant 
Why is it, the pictures you spend less time and labour on, end up pleasing you the most?  I think I may know what the answer is...

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