Thursday, October 30, 2014

Clouds Coming In

Clouds Coming In
pastel on paper, 8" x 10" horizontal
photo reference by tj84 on reference image library

This painting gave me some frustrating moments. I had some design problems with the areas on the land and one patch in the clouds bugged me. So I hung it on the wall across from where I sat and did other pastels and other paintings. Half the procrastination was physical, just not being up to getting out what I needed to finish it.

I went from hard pastels at the start to Rembrandt and finally finished with 120 Unison Half Sticks because that gave me the range I needed for the finish. The shadow area was too muted once I got it to the right value, so bringing in some purples made that work. I played with the foliage some more and having different hues and values in foliage colors helped enormously. 

I put in a tiny patch of sun hitting some distant trees. There's other little fun areas where light causes details. I gradated the water and added the cloud reflections, that helped a lot. It was really just finishing strokes for most of this - but every one of them was needed.

Paintings sometimes go through an Ugly Stage where it looks like you've ruined it. The last details need to be done and the finishing touches, without them it looks horrible but that is the right underpinning for those final touches. I first ran into this doing Colourist works in Charlotte Herczfeld's class because it looks ghastly right before the end - those finishing details are always needed. 

This time I think I just got tired when I was finishing it and looked down, noticed the ugly stage and choked. A couple of friends on WetCanvas provided critique. Many of them said it was better than I thought. Now I think it's better than they've seen - but thanks to them I didn't chuck it, did go finish it. 

I much prefer being decisive and moving on to the next painting than endless reworking! I hope I don't catch the wibbles again like this for a long long time!

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