Tuesday 31 January 2023

Working Hard In January

Full of New Year resolutions, I've tried to do a sketch every day this month, and I've tried to get into the studio too.  I've been at home for the whole of January, so no excuses! Despite spending so much uninterrupted time working, I'm not sure if the results are as good as I would like.  As we know, time spent in the studio does not always produce great results, but I'd like to think my time has not been wasted.

 I thought I would use this blog to reflect on some work done in the studio and let you judge for yourself.

Keeping my focus on the Biosphere, I decided I wanted to do something with this particular sketch.

It's a a somewhat wasted landscape at Achnashellach where the trees in a plantation woodland have largely been removed, leaving only a few remnant trees here and there.  This is quite a common story of small landscapes in this area.  I also liked the light on the far hill.

I had made this start to quite a large painting (acrylic on paper) way back in August.  

It looks kind of OK at this scale, but I wasn't happy with it in reality....too literal, perhaps.  So I tried to improve upon it, trying to simplify it a little.  But you can see that it's lost a bit of drama.

I didn't like it now and put it away for a few months.   Then I was along at Achnasheen in December and did another sketch of roughly the same scene, deciding that the trees needed to be taller.  When I came back to the studio I pulled it out of the drawer and had another go. Actually, I had a look at the trees by Cezanne and by Peploe to inspire and encourage me to take a bold plunge! 

Of course, I still wasn't happy - too much bracken and the blue of the far hill didn't work.

I thought this one was getting there....worth continuing....

Then I decided that the far hill needed more drama!

And finally, I've added the pale green hill back in, brightened up the grasses at the front and inserted a bit of shadow.

So this is it - finished...or not.  I've decided that I've done enough for the moment - I think it's better than it was, and I feel that it has a cohesive whole.  Anyway I'll put this away in a drawer.  Then I might take it out for a look in a month or so to decide whether or not to frame.

It's been a hard month!

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