In order to maintain painting momentum as I work on various projects and ideas I have decided to keep one canvas on the go as a bit of an independent side-project. I have had the idea for this canvas floating around for a while, and this is very much a piece I am going to work on at times when other projects aren’t going quite to plan in an attempt to try and avoid the dreaded creative block.
As this is a canvas I am not going to get too precious about (and with no fixed deadline in mind) I intend to be quite relaxed about its development and try out different ideas. This is also not a commission, or present for anyone, so I feel in a position to share progress as the canvas evolves. I started out by sketching-out the image and blocking in the main basic areas:
This is another object painting using the reflections box which was utilised for previous paintings ‘Marble’ and ‘Bloom-in-corner’. I like the challenge created by multiplying the image and, as this canvas is on a much bigger scale than the previous two paintings, there is more capacity to play around with the application of paint as the work evolves.
Although I will work from the actual object for details during the course of the painting, I actually mainly work from photographs taken from setting-up the object as a still life within the reflections box. I took the photographs for this last summer, and made the initial sketch in the autumn, but I am hoping that the progression on this piece will move along at a somewhat faster pace now that I have put decisive brush to canvas.
The painting is currently at this stage:
This was completed by putting a general wash of colour over the whole canvas using large brushes and a wet canvas surface. I also used a rag to manipulate the wet paint on the surface of the canvas. I haven’t used washes like this over the whole surface of a painting at this stage of the process possibly ever, so am already starting to experiment with how I layer paint.
With the mid-tone of the canvas set, the next stage is to start adding in tonal contrasts. As the image is repeated through reflections I intend to work across the whole canvas at the same time, but play with the illusion of the reflected image so that each figure is not painted in exactly the same way. I do not currently have any fixed ideas about the actual environment around the object, so am going to try out some ideas and see what happens.
I will continue to post about this painting to show progress. I do not normally like showing paintings at such early stages as it is often not until near completion that I feel that they are ready for public consumption. There is also always the danger that a canvas will go completely wrong, so it is with some trepidation that I am showing this canvas in its infancy!
I think that I will find it interesting to document how this canvas develops. It will also be a way of looking back to see if the decisions that I make as the painting develops were a good idea or not. This will hopefully help me to identify more efficient ways of working for future paintings.