Progress pics for ‘The Grandmas’ Picnic’ (Commission) – oil on canvas.
I found an article in Artists & Illustrators Magazine about painting in thin layers with oils, just like the Old Masters, and thought I might try this type of application for my Australian Commission. After trying thin washes and waiting patiently for the layers to dry I realised that, by painting in the way of the old Masters, it would take years to complete this particular picture. So I reverted to my own style of painting – almost finishing each bit as I go along. I must admit, I do like working in the sticky wetness of the fresh paint, and I love that I can move it around, scrape it off and re-apply just for the fun of it. I am not sure why I wished to paint like the old Masters, but as I have never been influenced by any other artists’ work before, why try to change my spots now! Once an untrained rebel, always a rebel I suppose.
I moved to the second underpainting, with colours. This is when I should spot that elements are incorrect. And of course, Houghton Mill in the background was on the lean, so I had to correct it before carrying on in that area. I am trying to study light and shadows on sunny days, but unfortunately, the sun keeps hiding behind rain and clouds – this morning it is foggy!
The preliminary sketch was approved without any amendments, but getting that small sketch onto the large canvas proved difficult, and upon enlargement, several elements had to be moved around a bit to achieve the proper perspectives. But at the moment it is going well. I started with the horrible squares by which to transfer the drawing accurately, then erased them as best I could using a putty rubber and am now in the process of filling in the tonal underpainting (all in one colour) to show the outlines and shadows.
2. The tonal underpainting – Blue-grey wash, then light colour wash.