Sunday, May 8, 2016

Simplifying to create spaciousness in the paintings

I've gone in a somewhat different direction with my painting recently and I've had a very nice time working on some canvases for a commission for a friend.  She suggested some colours and approved my working in the new less geometric direction. The commission was for two paintings for the bedroom, one on each side of the bed.

The first efforts were quite contrasty with a darkish blue dominating. Although they were exciting, they were too intense for a bedroom and not really restful.  This is one of them.

Toning them down required opening up the composition to create more space in the painting as well as using more neutral colours and less contrast in value.  

Here you can see the intermediate stage where I've eliminated the darker stripe on the left and added more grey and taupe and white, plus softened the blues.

Here's the finished painting.

And this is the companion piece for the other side of the bed.  The same process took place here. I took some advice from  Nicholas Wilton, a California artist and teacher whose blog I've been following. He suggests many ways to make paintings stronger and I'm really finding his posts helpful. 

I think both paintings benefited from the simplifying process.


  1. I am enthralled by these paintings and what you have thinking about while painting. The second painting really is my favorite and it gets better with more viewings.
    I hope after a year they switch the paintings. This way they will see "new" what you have painted.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Thanks Parsnip, the second one is my fave as well.

  2. Thanks for your nice words William and Susan.


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