Sunrise over Byron Bay, Australia.

Week 2: Gridlocked

These posts are coming in quick succession as I need to get up to speed with my weekly postings. Thankfully it’s just my posts that are a bit behind and not the creative work. I have painted 2 evenings this week and progress has been made. Hoorah.

Now normally I am a bit of a paint-by-eye kind of artist but as I mentioned in my previous post, architecture is a new thing for me. And I get the feeling that if I just keep painting from my gut it might not all quite tie up. I’ll get myself into one of those really sticky situations where three-quarters of the way through the painting, when there’s quite a significant amount of oil on the canvas, I’ll suddenly see that some of the distances/angles don’t look right. And each time you rectify that one bit, you realise that that means that the next part of the building is out of line and the next and next etc.  Until you are rehashing your entire painting and trying desperately to cover up solidified oils. So! In order to not do that this time, I thought I’d get critical with the architecture now – while the image is still in the earliest of stages. So I did something I don’t normally do and made a grid to place over the main photo I’m working on and squared it out on my canvas and then got comparing. And boy, am I pleased I did! It’s weird how something can look like it’s pretty much alright but then a few millimetres here and there can add up to some things being pretty far out of place. So I spent my evenings this week getting everything back in its rightful place and getting my first layer all ready for more paint.

So that’s a slightly more ordered approach than I would normally take with a painting. But I’m hoping it will pay off in the long run. Hopefully now I should be able to relax and get into the painting of it, paying attention to the light and colours and feeling of the piece, rather than worrying about placement. I guess my only concern is that this rigorous first stage might sap some of the life out of the painting… after all I don’t want to make it a carbon copy of the photo, but I did want to avoid heavy rework at a much later stage. I guess only time will tell if this is the right method for me!

Now, this blog is supposed to be all about art, and it’s week 2 and I’ve not posted a single image. I feel like a fraud. So I decided that as I can’t post pictures of my current work, I could post some of my previous work. So here we are, a few of my more recent paintings….

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