Monday, March 11, 2013

Carousel Painting in Progress


I managed to trick myself into working on this painting again… or at least I hope so.  It regained a position on the mantel, along with the other three WIP’s.  Now there’s no choice but to continue, and I suspect this carousel will take up space there for another several months.
I made a commitment to work on it at least an hour each day, whenever possible.  After that hour has passed, I am free to paint whatever I choose. Oddly enough, there have already been several instances where I continued painting for hours beyond the first.

So, you’re probably wondering what about this piece that is such a chore.  Artists are supposed to just enjoy painting anything, right? I wish that were always the case. Sometimes a painting feels more like work…
This is one of the most complex paintings I’ve attempted in a long time. A single pole takes hours to complete and painting poles is just not my thing :/ . As you can see from the two unfinished poles on the left, I begin the process with an opaque brown mass, which consists of three dried layers of burnt umber. Next, I will apply various tones of yellow, white, burnt sienna, and other colors, blending and reapplying until smooth.
Then there’s the main carousel horse’s color and values. I’ve gone from using pale purple to light blue and it’s still not exactly what I want. Adding more white around the edges may help. My goal is to have the focal horse stand out from the background, while maintaining the subtle shadows.

The other issue is the painting surface. I should have chosen a linen canvas, but instead, I opted for a less expensive cotton canvas. (Shoulda woulda coulda !) Oils are not transitioning well on this cotton canvas; I feel the surface is hindering my progress.
And then there’s the carousel rafter. I need to determine if the overhead lights should be consistent in size or should have random spacing.  

There are many decisions to make...

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