Here is another recent painting. In fact, it’s a paint over of a painting I created as an environment concept for a narrative I tinkered with for a time, named Le Bois Rouge (that is, the Red Wood because I have an adoration for age-old sequoias – funny that I’m in California and I still haven’t seen one!). Anywho, my reason for painting over was to play with Photoshop’s masks and adjustment layers, theories of color and light, to bump up the values and to create a mood (you can see the original painting in my portfolio).
I actually lost about half of the painting when Photoshop took a dive. I’d painted blue shadows into the hills, form and cast shadows for the rock and trees, rays of light with ambient sky fill painted into them entering the foreground, a reddish hue on the tops of the trees and broken up the edges of the hills to name a few elements – oops. However in this state, I think there is still a balance between its original graphic simplicity and the new elements of texture and more minute details. Where I had taken the painting to, I had run into compositional problems with horizontal beams of light and a focal point I wasn’t pleased with. It’s kind of nice that the painting has disappeared because it reminds me that all efforts are practice where you learn something new, and then you can happily apply your newfound knowledge to the subsequent painting or drawing. If I want to, I can always paint it again :)
In the lost painting (the ‘Lost Painting’ - spooky) there was more ambience, illumination and depth however its simplicity had been lost. At this point it would have required a lot more silhouettes of trees in the far distance, plus a number of other nods to reality in other parts of the painting to resolve its simple origin with the relatively more real direction it was taking - something to note when painting over.
The experience has also helped to reinforce what I have been learning about broad handling and stroke modules is absolutely true. An impression of the subordinate elements in a composition may be created with loose handling, while the center of interest may be painted in sharper focus (where this painting is, is all about loose handling – it’s fun to do). James Gurney explains this expertly in this blog post. By the way, I've been reading Molly Maloney's blog, Must Draw Harder and I've been enjoying finding out about her learning experience - it inspired me to share this!
Update - hm, so I painted it again.