I had promised myself that I wouldn't go footiling around with paintings that are supposed to be finished. But I have to admit that this is what I have done to 2 old paintings. I think it was a good idea in both cases.
First I was pretty unhappy with how the "Gulf Troller 1" painting looked. The boat was pretty good but it seemed as if someone was trying to pull the boat out of the water and the sticky water was coming up too. It was like odd little hands were trying to hold onto the boat.
I did a lot more looking at how boats look as they go through the water and how their wake appears. I realized that my ideas were OK - just too extreme.
So I toned it all down - smaller bow wave, smaller waves along the side of the boat, smaller wake. Much better! Then for good measure I toned down the clouds and distant islands and mainland. I was sorry to loose the light coming through the rigging - but it had two focal points that were a little off-putting - so it had to mostly disappear. I also had a go at the colours of the boat - making the boxes on the back seem brighter.
A little tamer - but much better! I think this is done.
Second, I was looking for art cards to send for birthdays when I had a look at the card I had made of my original Ammonite Falls/VIU Forestland painting. My goodness - I liked the original much better than the most recent version.
A major problem with the most recent version was that the little trees at the end of the trail were gone. All there was left as the trail disappeared over a low rise was fir tree trunks. I realized this was a mistake. I really needed those little trees and they had been what drew me to the photo in the first place.
I took the painting out of the spare room and had another go at it today today. I put back the trees - not quite the same as earlier - but fairly similar. While I was at it, I added back the yellow grass on the side of the trail and warmed up the trail itself - much more red.
Stepping back I could see that there was now a lot of yellow and red in the bottom and none at the top. This did not seem good. I also realized that during the year of working on this painting I had pretty much forgotten about the top half of it. The boughs and tree trunks at the top of the painting did not properly with the trunks in the bottom half. Some of them were wider at the top. Some were rougher looking and much darker. This was strange . How could I not have seen it before? I think it was because doing the original tree trunks and branches was so hard - I didn't want to go there again. I also think that I thought the impressionistic look of the painting allowed for some rough bits. But it was a problem.
I cleaned up the trunks and made them connect better - plus added some pinkish yellow to the the trunks at the top and at the bottom. This was more consistent with the original photo which had a definite pinkish tone and brought a hint of the reds and yellows of the trail up into the treetops.
Much better. I think it is finally done.
Friday, February 17, 2012
I have spent quite a few days on my chip barge painting - but it is still not done. You can see my progress - above. I think it is getting better and better. At least it is getting more complete. I did like it when it was more sketchy - but the sketchy stage is now gone. It has disappeared under the paint and there is no going back.
At this point I think the part that needs work is the cloud on the left. I spent a couple of hours working on it this morning - but it turned into a mess - so I wiped it all off. It is almost OK the way it is - wiped off - but not quite. It needs some brush strokes to match all the work on the rest of the painting. The problem is that whenever I try to just give it some paint, it turns into the wrong kind of cloud.
I will let it rest and dry and them try again. So- back to fall in Swi-a-lana.
A happy note is that we are doing a Power Up course with our singing group and finding we actually have singing voices. It is wonderful! Also - we're going to Hawaii in a couple of weeks to snorkel. Mike has been doing tons of dives and is loving it. While he dives, I paint.