Friday, March 13, 2015

Painting of a Jade Plant

Journal Entry, March 2, 2015

I spent the better part of the morning contemplating this possible disaster and trying to decide where to go next. The plant itself didn't take long to get a first pass in a few days ago but I can see that the fabric will be more of a challenge. The light in the studio is best now around 2:00 PM. It wafts softly onto the setup and the shadows are deeper and warmer at that hour. But the light soon fades after that and I'm back to artificial light. I can't wait half a day for one hour's easel time. I can see that I'll have to work on this problem before my next piece. It's never been this much of an issue before. Why am I so focused on it now?                                                           

In tackling the tapestry, I considered painting it alla prima or working flatly and then describing the lights and shadows with glazes and scumbles. I decided on a combination of the latter. It's a challenge because the shadows are rather shallow and poorly described in the morning hours. By working it in glazes, I have the option of darkening and brightening selective passages when the light is right. (An apology to my readers about the easel light which blows out the plant.) I worked the darks and lights on the areas of cloth that didn't have design on them and left the design relatively flat. Much of that will have to be described later.

My container looks sick and lopsided. I can hardly stand to look at it. Definitely a lesson in getting the drawing right before starting work. I covered a lot of canvas today, but the real meat of the work still lies ahead. 

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