Seascape oil painting commission now in the final stages continued as I poured another semi-transparent glaze over indigo. The idea was to give the blue water an illusion of depth. The indigo colour has been part of the under-painting as well as over-painting that consisted of the definition of columnar rock-shapes visible in the detail image and shadows to be further developed in the next stage.
At the same time I introduced visual elements into the composition that related to vision, that is, the artist’s gaze was also implicated in what was seen and how the subject was organised in space.
The suggestion of divisions like those in a triptych was my way to explain how erosion over millennia has left standing portals or sentinels of the hardest rocks that appear to divide this land-form into three broad shapes punctuated by distinct gaps.
This winter erosion further under-cut large rocks with one in particular falling on its side and others broken, snapping off like teeth. I often feel sad at the loss of these unusual pillar-like shapes that looked so permanent.
Final Stages of untitled companion painting
The companion painting required more depth in the foreground layers. A thin glaze under the opaque over-painting looked too thin and a bit scrappy. The opaque quality allows for effective colour richness and transparency when the under layer dries. The transparent layer should glow but not too much.
My paintings often take months to complete owing to the introduction of glazes throughout the build up of layers. Sounds like a layer cake. When I was teaching my students and I would laugh at this so-called “Sara Lee” effect. It’s often regarded as a traditional painting technique practiced by the Old Masters. I love all the qualities of the oil medium which range from transparent, semi-transparent, semi-opaque through to opaque. When I’m asked do a commission I usually do other versions while paint dries but also I see a single topic in different ways.
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