Process – Storm on the Horizon

I thought I’d share the development of this painting – it’s always interesting to see the stages.

The painting is acrylic on canvas, 60×45 cms. It’s unusual for me to paint in anything other than a square but I am trying to use what I have available at the moment. This had a very old painting on it so I gessoed over it and started again with a blank canvas, although there is always a history of the marks underneath, which I love.

I used these three colours plus white.

This is the first painting I did. Although I loved the dramatic contrast between the stormy sky and the turquoise sea I didn’t feel it worked overall for the painting.  I think if this had been my usual square format I could have got away with it, but it felt too much on a landscape format.  It also felt like a painting in 3 parts rather than a coherent whole.

When it had dried and sat on the easel for a few days I decided to lighten the sky and darken the sea, which started to pull it together.  I also brought the beach further up the painting and added some detail.  The painting began to feel a bit heavy and seemed to have lost some of the life of the original.  The rock also felt very dominant.

Lightening the sea again and losing some of the foreground rock helped balance this painting again and bring it back to life.  I think it now works although I am a little sad to lose the vibrant turquoise that it started out with. 

Painting is always a learning curve and knowing when to stop is the hardest bit.

I think it helps to document the process and the stages to help with the next painting.  And to record what worked and what didn’t.

I’m looking forward to the next painting with the vibrant turquoise!

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