I picked this scene to do for this months project of doing local tone (3 values, each shape remaining in one of the 3 values) because I thought it would be easy, and I did it 12"x16" so I could do it in a weekend. It still is not where I want it after two weekends, but I am tired of looking at it so I may not finish it before class this Saturday. What I would still like to accomplish is to lighten the background of trees along the shore by another shade. It is still just too dark. I have tried 3x's to get it light yet still read as a dark, and it is still about 2 shades too dark(and yes, I was trying to use my new color charts!). The water still needs a bit thicker paint on the white caps. And the numbers on the sails are still missing. I have decided that I really do not like working from photos anymore. I tighten up and get hung up on details. Dinking around way too much even as I tell myself to STOP. Put all that aside, as those that have come into my studio and seen it in person have remarked how much they like it. I just tend to focus on what is not where I want it to be versus what is actually working.
To break out of all this what has become, tedious class work of the past two months, I painted a still life on Sunday. It is 20"x16" and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. What a relief. I was beginning to wonder if there was no joy in mudville. I had drawn my sketch Saturday afternoon and wiped off two false starts. Sunday when I got back to my easel, the tulips had assumed new positions and though I had no lights on in my studio, there were a myriad of different light sources coming in from all the windows. I decided to just use those wonderful shadows as a design element to break up the wallpaper from being too much of large negative shape.
And then there is this apple which I had forgotten I had done on another recent weekend when I was feeling I needed a boost. Red must be a color that gives me that sense of life. I wanted to see if I could still do a study in under 20 minutes. And the answer is yes.