Some paintings flow smoothly from start to finish.
This painting had quite a journey to get to a completed stage.
On reflection, at each stage I was looking for a way into the painting, an emotional connection that would allow me to charge the painting with a part of me.
After laying down an initial wash, I started documenting the stages. This proved to be an interesting exercise as when I work on a piece it is normally not so full of twists and turns.
You can discover them below from the beginning to the end.
First off, I applied a wash of colour and picked out some clouds with a sponge against a dark tree line.
I thought there was too much blue in the foreground of the first painting so I added in a complementary colour and a road emerged to lead the eye through the piece.
In this second painting, I liked the sky and trees but the road wasn’t a flyer.
I upped the colour in the foreground and felt the tree line needed more work.
Big change in No. 4.
I have emerged from the lowlands and am high up in the mountains with lots of wind and clouds rushing by.
A refinement from No. 4. I picked out grasses and gave them a right to left direction and added a richer colour in the distant hills.
Often when working this way, I rely on what feels right on an intuitive level even though this feeling is an amalgam of memories of landscapes and atmospheres and how colours respond to each other.
I then took a photo thinking the painting might be finished but it was back to the drawing board.
At stage 6, you might think that things are resolved and just need adjusting here and there but no!
There is a big change in mood and atmosphere.
The idea of keeping things open till the very end is essential.
I mentioned before that I don’t want to be precious while painting and this way of working can lead to failure or a result I’m happy with.
Let me know what you think.