I aim to take a photograph at the end of each painting session however… here I missed several opportunities. This picture was a considerable number of painting hours after the last posted picture.
As you can see, it’s really started to take shape now. It’s a shame I missed the photos inbetween as you’d be able to see the colour adjusts I made as I painted each one. I usually premix the main colours in my scheme and preserve them with a little acrylic retarder and seal them thoroughly to keep them fresh. I didn’t do this as I wanted to explore mixing from tube colours every time. I had hoped that it would add more colour tones and therefore interest to the fine detail and whilst I think it has achieved this, it was very slow going. I found painting these succulents incredibly difficult! Although I’m equally pleased with the tall red ones as I used just a subtle shift in colours to bring one to the foreground. I think it was very successful.
I have just finished what was the last painting of 2014 but I thought it fitting to save it for the first post of 2015. It has been an important piece for me and the start of a new approach to my work. It was an experimentation of media, a challenge to myself and the first purely still life painting I’ve done in a very long time.
Whilst this was a chance for me to set up a real life composition to paint, I also wanted to create a perfect setting in which to display something which to me is beautiful and pure but something that many people will feel is a controversial. Please stay tuned for later posts where I will discuss the subject matter of this piece in more detail. First and foremost – I wanted to create a piece which showcased the beauty of life, all life, the beginning, the end, the oldest and most pure. Pure and raw nature.
For now, what I want to discuss is the preparation I went through for this piece. I have not put pencil to canvas for many, many years. Mainly because it muddies the pale colours but also because I found that painting outlines directly onto the canvas was a more pleasurable way of working and allowed for greater freedom and expression. For this painting I have also used canvas board – another change for me. I carefully drew the composition accurately and precisely onto the board with a standard pencil and then sealed it with a clear gesso.This seals the graphite and maintains an adhesive surface for the acrylic paints. Whilst this attributes mainly to my reflective learning and so this is not something I think I will do – I can certainly recommend the technique for anyone wanting a precisely drawn design to paint over.
I will be sharing progress pictures here and on my social media pages so make sure you follow me for the full piece and related posts. Instagram: http://instagram.com/ardentshadows and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArdentShadows.Art
To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour. William Blake.