My Art in the Making
St. Remy, France
STAGE 1 Even though this stage is mostly about drawing, this particular scene is saturated with a strong yellow ochre colour theme, so I’ll be making sure that my sky colour will complement the yellows. STAGE 2 The shadows play a huge part in the execution of a painting; I need to make sure that I’m taking this into consideration. Colour is such a powerful tool in my painting, I’m sure that I won’t leave any stone unturned. STAGE 3 Now that the sky is in place, I can get a true and accurate reading on the overall colour temperature. I’m always thinking I’ll go one value darker and one value warmer.
STAGE 4 Final Stage St. Remy, France, oil, 12 x 9" (30 x 23 cm)
This stage will involve fine-tuning and looking for variation in colour and tone. I’m now placing my full attention on the sensitivity to light and suggestive marks and distribution of colour.
To me the secret code to a painting is the paint surface, which is left behind by the artist’s hand; it’s also a way of telling the competency of the artist. We could have great tonal values, subject matter and use of colour, but this could all be undone if we have repetitive marks or poor application of our paint. If I have confident brushstrokes and fluent palette knife marks, these marks can be used to push the visual narrative one step higher. I like to think of my painting as the world’s thinnest sculpture. The other thing to consider is my board surface; I mostly prefer to work on a hand prepared gessoed hardboard. The fact that I make my own boards to paint on, I can begin the process of building up my sculpted surface. An important thing to consider is the many different objects that I will encounter in my painting day. Let’s say, I’m painting a smooth, polished brass pot, the colour and value may be similar to another shape in the painting, but I need to take the object’s surface into consideration. This type of scenario is when I’ll employ a soft bristle brush, like a mongoose or synthetic brush. A soft bristle brush will remove unwanted marks, if we compared that shape with foliage on a tree, I’ll be using my hog hair brush in this situation, to build up texture. The best advice I can give to any artist, is to analyse each shape and object, and then formulate an approach to be able execute your painting.
Portofino Morning, Italy, oil, 10 x 12" (25 x 30 cm) This scene is mostly in a horizontal and vertical plane. I felt that it was important to reduce brush marks and visual interest to the wall of the mid-distance building, this was to ensure that this shape will recede.