Sunday, 22 March 2015

Adding Detail : Wisteria 2015

Work in Progress

I was just about to write a long email in answer to a gorgeous question someone asked and then realised the information might suit followers of my blog too. I am finding artists on my workshops seem to fall into two categories. One group can't seem to create exciting washes to work from but are brilliant at painting detail. The other category paint fabulous washes but don't know how to move on from that starting point. Both are really frustrating problems to overcome.

I try to breath life into my work by painting atmospheric washes in colours that suit my subjects. I rely heavily on expressive brushwork to depict hints of the subject I am going to be painting. Thinking of the detail I will be adding in the next creative stage. The question I was asked was " How long does it take you to finish a painting?"  That really is like asking me how long a piece of string is without showing me the actual string.

The answer really does depend on the subject and the amount of complex detail in it. The wisteria above is a great example of what I mean.

The first wash of colours I selected reminded me of sitting in Italy demonstrating to artists on my workshops there. The light was gorgeous and the wisteria seemed so delicate. I have used violets and turquoise to set off the flowers with hints of Opera Pink by Daniel Smith. Once the first wash was dry I started to add tiny detail in sections. This is far from complete but I won't be racing to finish it as it is such a gorgeous painting which carries that special " feel good factor" when I work on it.

But some sections will be left to the imagination, others will not.

I love it at the moment so just a few more touches may complete this, but only time will tell.

So how long a painting takes to complete really does depend on my mood, the subject and the amount of detail I aim to add. Plus the size of my work. My largest pieces can take up to three months believe it or not. Layering, adding detail in sections and leaving each one until I am ready and know exactly where to work next.

This probably doesn't help at all as an answer but I thought it would be a fun post to share!


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