The starting point of a painting and the end point can sometimes be a fair distance apart. It’s most often because a painting takes a turn I decide to follow to see where it leads, knowing I can always go back to my original idea another time. So the painting that became “The W.I.* Committee” started with bright oranges/yellows and a row of sheep and ended with gentle purples and three sheep. These four photos show the progress:
* W.I. = Women’s Institute) and, yes, I do know in Scotland it’s the S.W.I.
I started with orange and yellows as the blocking in colours, the eliminate-the-white-of-the-canvas and establish-the-composition colours plus some phthalo turquoise, white and magenta. The orange of the sky encouraged to run by spraying it. It’s all a bit “pass-my-sunglasses” intense at the moment but it’s destined to be mostly hidden by subsequent layers.
Enter more phthalo turquoise. One of my current favourite colours, it’s a strong dark when used thickly, a sea blue-green when thin. In this round I was using it to establish darks in the foreground, and this is when the row of sheep got reduced to three. Why? I don’t know, it just felt right.
I started getting entranced by the beautiful mixes of magenta with turquoise, white, orange and yellow, finding myself pulled towards lighter tones for once. Why? I could invent some philosophical statement about the purples on the hills behind my studio at the moment and the low clouds of a mostly overcast day, but truly it’s simply because at that moment I was enjoying those colours.
In this third photo the tones are still quite dark overall, but you can see where I’ve started adding light tones. This was a turning point in the direction the painting headed, and I knew it was destined to be more gentle than my other recent paintings, and not dominated by blue or green. And, subsequently, many of the comments I’ve had about it have started with “those are unusual colours for you”.
I left it overnight to dry thoroughly, then worked further ending up here (I realise that’s not much of a description of what I did; compare the two photos, they tell the story):
Cadmium orange: shop in UK or shop in USA
Cadmium yellow: shop in UK or shop in USA
Phthalo turquoise: shop in UK or shop in USA
Magenta: shop in UK or shop in USA
Titanium white: shop in UK or shop in USA
Perylene Green/Atrament Black (same pigment, different brand names): shop in UK or shop in USA
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