I was browsing through my photo collection in Lightroom and I found a few shots taken some years ago that I never thought were quite good enough as photos on their own, but had a certain ‘something’ about them. After my recent first attempt at painting with acrylics, I decided to have a go at painting one of them.
Once again, half the battle was actually pushing through the fear of the finished piece not turning out how I envisaged, and actually making a start. I started by painting the green of the field in the base of the picture. Next step was to add the hills on the horizon — I don’t think I got the colour quite right, but I carried on.
The biggest challenge was the sky. I thought I’d try something different and squeeze the paint from the tubes directly onto the canvas — cerulian, phthalo blue, rose, orange and lots of white. I was horrified at the initial mess. The colours just didn’t seem to be working together — especially the orange, which I think I may have applied way too liberally. At that point I felt like it had just gone from a painting to an experiment. However, after a bit of blending, things seemed to be looking up. I managed to control the colours and create some pleasing blends — made easier by the paint starting to dry.
I added in some trees along the field’s border and painted a tree using fine brush strokes. This is where I felt I spoilt the painting. Working from a photo, I slipped into trying to recreate it too closely without considering the medium — and I also reckon there was a little bit of my childhood painter creeping in there too. I think in future, I need to recreate more of the feel of the photo, rather than trying to recreate it.
Another focus with this piece was speed. As I said in my previous post about painting with acrylics, I’m looking to churn stuff out quickly to satisfy my creative urges — and perhaps also to battle my creative anxiety. With that in mind, this session was a great success as it was a more complicated piece than my first, and I managed to finish it in around an hour.