I felt increasingly disappointed about my most recent efforts after posting last week’s blog post. I did, however, receive some well-considered, constructive and encouraging comments that really stuck with me. Initially, all I wanted to do was to move on and forget this subject. The more I mulled over the comments I’d received though, the more I felt compelled to stay with this a little longer. As a reminder, here are the efforts from last week’s post:
My conclusion was that the composition of this painting was its weak spot and that it lacked any real focal point. I knew that the flower stand should be the main focus, but the church provided the sense of place. After considering the comments, I decided to try this view again, honing in a little more on the flower stand, but without losing the sense of the church. I also introduced some figures for a little more interest and scale.
The figures are my partner and our daughter, based on some other reference photos I had of this view – although I appreciate it’d be hard to pick them out of a line up based on this painting!
I painted this pretty quickly and intuitively. After an initial loose under wash that covered the entire quarter sheet, I started adding in the darkest tones under the awnings before gradually working my way clockwise around the rest of the scene. It wasn’t planned, but it felt just right at the time, and quite exciting too.
I appreciate that it’s not one of my finest efforts, but I do like some of its qualities. There are a lot of loose wet into wet passages that allowed the pigments to really run and mix on the paper. I also softened the left-hand side of the painting where the church ends and the background buildings begin. I was also pleased to retain a looseness and not tighten up despite it being a more close up view (and being conscious of trying to take on board some of the comments).
I’m not sure that I was able to take on board every suggestion but I would like to thank everyone for their feedback and encouragement. Not just on last week’s paintings, but for all of the comments that I’ve received about my work. It really does mean a great deal and constantly spurs me on to keep on painting.