In keeping with my vow to "try" more small paintings
that are somewhat experimental in process I took one fetching scene
and executed it three times. This is definitely
one I will look forward to painting in a much
I was attracted to the light in this scene of a biker leaving the park one early morning (photo credit would be given to my sister). So I challenged myself to dash it off in a 5 x 7 version:
5 x 7
"Okay" for a first pass I decided but not very dramatic. And I did not really "dash" it off spending far too much time on the not important foreground.
I really didn't like the yellow in the sky, the whole thing seemed rather underwhelming so I set it aside to think about. Later I went back and fussed with the ground trying to get a stronger contrast.
I still wasn't satisfied. This should be a danger sign to me as I tend to start making foolish attempts right about now, self sabotage? But it is an experiment....
5 x 7
Teal? Really? Yep....Thought that might punch up the yellow a bit. And notice the reddish orange swath in the trees? It is really more dramatic in "real life," the photo washes out the contrast. Done.
Sometimes changing up the composition provides a new insight so I readied another canvas this time 8 x 6 in vertical format.
I put down an underpainting and actually liked it in this shape, simple, rustic....but no biker so I continued on.
And here she is, the biker #3. Believe it or not, in this size format the figure is the hardest part to paint. I can pretty much convince you there are trees with trunk lines and green blobs but the figure is about 5 tiny spots that have to all resemble something you might not be familiar with.
I could write pages on what I learned each step of the way, primarily that there is not a short cut to depicting that beautiful light that is not a color but a feeling...I am reminded by what my teacher Sandy Johnson used to say when I began to overthink something..."relax and just let the magic happen." Good advice.
Now on to magical canvas #4!