Friday, 26 August 2011

Studio Day

I didn't start anything new today - just working away on some of the pictures I've already posted.  First of all, I thought I would tamper with the Red Bass Rock picture. I didn't think it was quite there. It was looking like this when I started.  I thought that the red was perhaps too dominant in the picture. Don't get me wrong - I like the feeling of heat from the red (and that was what the day was like) but it was maybe just a bit boring.
Emerging Red Bass Rock - Copyright Aileen Grant
Anyway, I thought I would darken the red down a little and try to get some more interesting textures in the red area - I used some beeswax. I also had a bit of a go at the sea and the horizon line which looked a bit weak. I masked off some bits of painting I thought were quite precious - didn't want to lose them - and the end result was this.
Emerging Red Bass Rock copyright Aileen Grant
I THINK it looks a bit more interesting (not entirely sure). But now I see something else I want to do. I think I now need a bit more shape to the dark area in the foreground on the RHS. Oh's so difficult to finish a picture.
Kishorn View is another example of this difficulty. I thought I had almost finished this - when I got back to the studio it was looking like this.
Emerging Kishorn View copyright Aileen Grant
The sky was the part I was least happy about, so I had a go at this again. Also when I looked at the treatment of the sea (it looks OK in the photo) I thought the brushwork looked a little ragged. I didn't spend much time on it (didn't want to overwork it). Anyway, it's now looking like this.
Possibly finished version of Kishorn View copyright Aileen Grant
The changes are quite subtle. I also now remember that I softened the skye hills a little too, making them a little more interesting (I think).
It is quite daunting to approach a picture which is so developed and decide what needs to be done to improve it. It would be so easy to be heavy handed and lose the nice bits (the best bits). On the other hand, we can be too precious about parts of pictures - both my tutors (Jacqueline and Matt) have stressed this. Of course this is only coming back to me now - not while I was actually in the studio. We need to loosen up, not hold onto things and lose ourselves in our picture and then something special will emerge. Well. I am thinking now that this new technique I'm trying out, with my pencil-marks helping to define areas of colour, is preventing me from losing myself in the picture. Maybe I'm being a little formulaic, painting in tiles. I'll have to think about this further and decide what to do next. Sigh...
In the meantime, here's last Saturday's tea. They looked so luscious these prawns....I couldn't resist getting the watercolours out.
A Plateful of Prawns copyright Aileen Grant
 What next?

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