|Winter Lambing, 48X36, oil on canvas, by little ol' me.|
Critiquing a painting this week, I focused on the concrete: there isn’t any texture in the background, the yellows are too cool, the vase is too busy. A few hours later, my student looked at my Winter Lambing and said, “I’m playing it too safe, aren’t I?”
|This is taking a chance: obliterating the structure of a painting and starting again.|
When I started my painting of the Aurora Borealis, I’d wanted the full gamut of color in those crazy lights. However, for some reason, we usually see green ones, so I went with the green phase.
|Not finished, but an improvement on the prior iteration, I think.|
Last week, Britain was lit up by an amazing display of Northern Lights. Considering that a gift, I immediately decided to restructure my painting. That involved redoing an already-realized underpainting, but a good rule of painting is, “If you could paint it once, you can paint it again.”
|Wet brush in the left hand, soft dry brush in the right hand.|
The Northern Lights are, by and large, soft, ethereal, and edge-free. I’m painting them two-fisted: one hand holds a wet brush with a soft slurry of color; the other has a dry brush with which I blend the edges. This is time-consuming, but I hope it will be realistic when I’m finished. No paint can match the colors of the Northern Lights, so the problem will be making them work with the colors I have.
Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in Maine in 2014 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!