February 3, 2010

Corner Shop Revisited Finished

Acrylic on Canvas Panel Ω
Well this is where it wound up. Not sure it's my favorite of the steps, though it certainly the most detailed.
I worked on the trees a bit until I thought they were just right, and then noticed that the roof shape wasn't shortened properly as it went back into the distance, so I changed that and had to redo the trees there again. Pretty much the same story in every area I ventured into.
I discovered what a lot of you probably already know – if you look at a piece you can always find something wrong with it you'd like to change, but generally don't feel like getting all set up to do so. However, if you set out your palette and give yourself some time to "fix" a piece, the hours can fly by.
I'd bet I could work on this for two hours every day, but I'm not sure it would get any better. Just different.
The other big stumbling block here, for me, was color. Specifically the decision whether to match the color in the photograph as accurately as possible, or to go for a more "artistic" approach. I'm still not sure, but I do think some of the earlier stages were more interesting, color-wise.


Gevin Shaw said...

I think what the details do, especially on the roof, is place it better in time of day than the previous versions and give it even a sense of the middle of the day heat.

Sheila said...

Go with your instinct, use your artistic license. Isn't that why we choose to admire a painting over a photograph?

Gringo Zero said...

Ah, and there's the rub, I can't find my instinct. I feel like the 4th character Dorothy meets in OZ – the artist who hasn't got a clue.

Guess I'll just have to develop instinct.

Chartan said...

I think I prefer the step before this one. Although this one by no means looks overworked. I just like the simplicity of many of your pieces, and this one is losing that simplicity. Some painter, such as Renoir, or one of those guys, said "there are no finished paintings, only abandoned paintings.." (I am paraphrasing him, but you get the drift) It's just so hard to know when to abandon the darn thing. Do you ever go back and look through all your postings from when you started? I did that the other day, boy oh boy have you progressed. YOUR progress has given ME hope.

Avocaken said...

In my humble opinion, this one is DONE. I like it "as is". The time to stop is when you're "fixing" things. Put this one on the wall & let it rest. You'll look at it after a while and say "WOW, I did good".

Ken B.

Gringo Zero said...

More great thoughts. Thanks all.
I think part of my indecsisiveness stems from working in the digital world so much, where one rarely has to commit to anything being finished and where one can go back to any other version and make that the final.

Then again, this is one of my favorite things of actual doing painting. Slap it on, call it done, and no going back.

I'm definitely putting this aside, for now. Just fascinated by the process and the whole concept of "done"-ness.

Gringo Zero said...

I one watched a very accomplished painter on location. He was finishing up a landscape that I thought was really great. "Done" he said, and as he started putting his brushes away, someone else came up to look at the piece. "Nice start" he said as he walked away.

Brandy Harrington said...

So, I have just found your blog and I am really interested in your acrylics, I love the loose impressionistic style, and how your paintings look like oils to me. Your colors are nice and bright and clear with out being plastic-bright.

I just started learning to paint with acrylics and I have been having trouble with a lot of things, particularly blue skies. They always are too blue or too muddy. The sky in this painting is the holy grail for me! Would you mind telling me what color mix you used in the sky here? Or just which shade of blue? I am going to end up owning one tube of every shade of blue and this is too expensive!! I know in theory I should be able to mix any color but this shade is just escaping me.


Gringo Zero said...

Wow. Blues are one thing I really struggle with.

I have only been using Ultramarine Blue, and sometimes Cerulean Blue, (and white) with mixed results. I keep thinking I too need to get some new blues, but am never sure which ones I might get.

I good tip I got from Tim Horn, especially for Northern CA painters, is to make the sky as plain and boring as possible, so as not to distract from what you're painting. On nice days here, there really aren't any clouds.

He also recommends keeping it flat and pure. Don't muddy it with other colors/tones etc. I often mix up a puddle of it, so I can add another layer just for strength.

Also, when you cut in the tree holes, make 'em a little darker so they don't jump in front of the rest of the sky, but rather recede.

If you look at the recent "Fountain" painting I did, I was pretty much resolved that I'd never get the turquoise tones right in the water, so I didn't even sweat it that much. Somehow I got lucky. I just added a touch of yellow (Cad Light) and a bit of one or more of the two greens I've added to my palette, Jenkins Green and Light Green (Yellow Shade), which are pretty thin/transparent on their own.

I highly recommend making a few (boring) color charts using the blues you do have, mixed with varying amounts of white to see how they behave. Helped me a lot.

Send me a link to some of your stuff, so I can have a look.


Brandy Harrington said...

Just click on my name, should take you right there. Or, since I haven't tried that myself, brandyharrington.com

I am relieved it isn't just me who finds the blues really tricky. I used to use watercolors and I loved washing in the sky, it was the easiest part of the painting, but now, oy, what a pain!

I am using ultramarine, too. I have tried prussian blue, eh, not summery, but a good murky shadow blue. I was thinking cerulean was what I needed, maybe, or pthalo blue?

I love my pthalo green, even though it is a little impractical sometimes, for most things I find myself adding a lot of yellow and red to dull it down to a realistic shade. I actually wonder if my green might be the problem a little too, it is just so powerful that it can get away from you fast(if mixing sky), especially in the small formats I am using.

We have amazing skies here that I would love to paint. I just need to figure out that super pale blue that shades to almost buttercream at the horizon.

Thanks for your help--you are right, I need to do the boring color charts and be done with it!