Day 7 of An Oil a Day Challenge. One whole week. To be honest I'm pretty impressed that I've done one oil painting a day for a whole week!!
On day 4 the post was a partially finished oil painting. Day seven is the finished product. This painting felt like a real breakthrough for me.
For the first time in a long time I knew when my painting was finished. Without doubt.
Usually I look at them and wonder for weeks after I've stopped working on them if they are really finished. This time I knew.
Another positive from this one is that this is the first painting in a long time that I am happy with more than just a small portion. I like the whole thing.
So that I don't forget the path taken with this one, here is a blow by blow account of the progress. . . feel free to skip to the end if you want.
1. Priming the canvas and doing the preliminary sketch.
This stage is where it started to go right. Instead of starting on a scary white blank canvas, I decided that my base colour would be an ochre shade. The orange/gold tones of the ochre would then hopefully really bring out any blue hues used later on.
Preliminary sketching is important for me so I don't get carried away adding things willy-nilly later on, and also I can check out how the various elements sit on the canvas with each other.
2. Starting at the back.
The background of trees and water-side growth sets the scene for the whole painting, as well as setting the desired time of day with the amount of light added and temperature of the colours. There is a wilderness quality about it that I really like.
3. The drastic change between what is in the background and what is one of the focal points of the painting - the vegetation at the water's edge, was a bit iffy at times. Was it too bright? Was the change too sudden and dramatic? In the end I think it serves to add a lot of depth to the painting, and I'm happy with how it turned out.
4. This is where I reached on Day 4 of my challenge - the first day of painting this. The rushes at the water's edge have been started, and already there is a sense of water with the reflections added as I went, rather than after the entire shore-line had been done, forcing me to pay attention to where the reflections should actually be.
5. The entire shoreline and edge of the water. At this point the herby jeebies set in -damn those little voices that say, "You're bound to stuff it up now because you like it so much . . . " (actually those voices said a nasty 4-letter "f" word, not "stuff).
6. Growing a set and having the courage to carry on painting. Luckily there was a morning empty of commitments so it was easy to chug through and find the right groove.
And so, day 7 of An Oil A Day, I can post "The Shell Duck".
(Phew . . . now I can relax and have a cup of tea with a smile on my face.)