Following my recent zoo visit, I decided to undertake a painting based on one of the photographs that I took during the day. Following my recent creative block I decided that a way to work through this was to paint something totally different from my usual work. I re-used an old canvas so that I did not feel any pressure to create a perfect painting or become too precious with my image making.
I am currently mid-way through the, as yet untitled, painting of a frog:
This is still very much a work in progress. I hope to use part of this weekend to try and bring the painting to a conclusion. I need to work on the both the frog and the background further. Now that the basic areas are all painted in I am getting down to the nitty-gritty details.
I started the painting by splashing on a basic ochre tinted brown wash. I then blocked in very basic shapes using a couple of shades of light green. To get to the stage the painting is currently at I used a limited palette of green, blue, brown, yellow, red and white to start to refine the basic shapes and work out a better sense of form and depth.
I have really enjoyed working on this painting so far. It has been a case of very much going back to basics. I have worked from a single photograph and painted the image directly in paint onto the canvas with no preliminary drawings or plan. The painting has evolved quite spontaneously with adjustments made intuitively as I go along. It has been liberating to work in a very organic way from a single photograph without the complicated techniques I usually employ in layering paintings and the numerous challenges that arise from this.
When I was a child I used to spend hours copying images from wildlife books. Working on this painting has subsequently been quite therapeutic. Hopefully I will be able to share the finished painting over the next few weeks.
I now feel ready to re-tackle some of the other projects I have in the pipeline which will further explore the layering technique I have evolved of using multiple images, painted layers and textures in a single painting. Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to move forward.