Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hidden Depths

"Hidden Depths"  (pastel, 16x16 inches)

Here's what will be my second entry to the New Braunfels Art League June show "Water, Water Everywhere." I prepped this and yesterday's painting at the same time last week.

I treated my recent bout of artistic boredom with an "I-don't-have-anything-to-loose-except-more-boredom" attitude and left all deliberate thought processes at the door. I chose a couple of highly complex images only because water and reflections have always fascinated me, and instead of asking myself "How in the heck am I ever going to paint these?" I didn't think much at all except for "Ok, what size? I've got these frames, so 16x16 it is!"

Then I jumped right in with a very loose and fast underpainting using the only acrylics I happened to have on my shelf (see yesterday's post) and a glazing of a warm toned pumice gel...

I worked a bit with pastel on this one at the Texas State Arts & Crafts Fair last weekend, but didn't much like what was happening, so back at my studio I washed all that in with some mineral spirits and 'added' it to the underpainting.

Then I started over with the dry pastel. I thought maybe the best way to deal with the double-layer of focus in this painting (surface and depth) would be to put in the surface objects first (leaves and rocks) to get them in place, before adding too much to the underwater reflections.

 But I did sort of work on tones of the reflections as I put in the stuff on the surface.
 I really did try not to think too much, and to just react to the image, and let the colors and objects lay into the painting depending on the patterns already present in the underpainting.
 When I finally felt I had enough solidity to add the little water-lights around the floating leaves, the depth really started to 'pop'!
 Lastly I worked on brightening up the sky,
..and adjusting the tones and directions of the tree branches so that they would hold up a bit better realistically.
Then I stopped because it was enough!

Thanks for watching! Tell me what you think, and show a friend!