Friday, February 14, 2014

Evolution of a painting

I find it interesting to see how this painting evolved.  I really didn't have a clue where this was going when I started. I  simply began working with some colours that appeal to me.  Particularly a green gold and quinacridone gold. 

I started with washes of these colours but then saw it was becoming too "landscape-ish" so I added the pale rectangle in the middle.  (This photo doesn't show the whole painting.)

 I wanted to integrate the rectangle with the background so    added some washes across both the rectangle and the background at the top and the bottom.  I also painted the red stripe across the left side, then covered it with more white and scratched through to create texture.

Still looking for something of significance I added the red rectangle within the larger one and connected it to the red horizontal line. More layers of washes and rubbing through revealed some colours and textures that pleased me.

Taking a look now I see that what is of most interest in the section within the rectangle and the red and green horizontal bar is distracting so this was painted out with a neutral tone.

To create more contrast between the rectangle and background, I darkened the background with some washes of transparent raw umber and neutral grey. I also brightened the yellow section within the rectangle.

This is a view of the piece in a vertical orientation.  I left it there for a while, a few months actually.

But then I made a major change.  I chopped all the background off and mounted on a square 10x10 inch cradle. Then I painted the sides two different colours--a red and green.  Now that it's mounted I'm unlikely to make any other changes.  Although I'm still trying to decide which way is up.

Here it is in its final incarnation.  Quite an evolution, really.


  1. Super interesting post. Progression of a painting is not as easy as everyone thinks.
    I like the way it looks on the left photo.
    Are you covered in snow and ice ?

    cheers, parsnip

  2. Hi Parsnip, no it's just rain, rain and wind here. The left photo is the one that appeals to me too. It looks kind of architectural.


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