Within the short space of an hour, I stood before the makings for what I knew would be a successful canvas because all of the necessary structure... or foundation was already laid down. The remainder of the painting process merely dealt with refinement... balancing values and creating a color harmony which would unify the whole. Here's what the initial block in looked like at the end of session one.
The various "Big" shapes are readily discernible at this early stage. I chose to carve out the center of interest... but its shape is far from stated in a final way. Everything still remains tentative. Each section of the painting is still open to change and further consideration. The sky is very "stainy" and will be worked up slowly in glazes to attain the morning glow that I wished to be present.
After supper, I returned to the easel and reworked the sky to lessen the left over black toning in the sky area. I decided to let the paint set up overnight. I use Griffin Alkyd white paint on my palette which is a quick dryer. I knew that I could return to the canvas the next day and resume work at the closing stage of the day's work easily. It would offer me time to consider what area to move to next to maintain an "around the full canvas" attack.
In looking closely at this picture taken at the end of the session in day two... one can see various areas around the central image that now bare the signs of significant change... and yet remain unresolved at this juncture. There is a stronger sense of mood and lighting at this point... which was my goal for the day.
Note that in this picture attention has been given to the addition of detail to the light itself... ie the railings... window and weather vane atop the lantern.... as well as the play of light upon the walls of the light.
"River Guardian, Rotary Light, Prescott ON"
- oil on gallery wrap canvas - 24 x 30 inches
This is where it sits this evening. Today was a day of push n' pull... a day of balancing values... playing with highlights and adding details for interest. For all intents and purposes... I have achieved what I wanted to in this project. Mostly, my need to use big arm movements to replace "tight-assed' drawing and sitting to paint... both foreign to my preferred plein air approach have been alleviated. I feel refreshed.
Tomorrow... after a time away this evening, I will give it one more look when I am fresher. Looking forward to another "BIG" idea canvas and following my own path.
Happy Spring!... and Good Painting... to ALL!!
One Last Thrust...
After an overnight rest and step back from the painting, I decided to "ice the cake" by adding texture... and therefore variety using my palette knife. I carefully restricted its use to the foreground snow area and the river-facing wall of the lighthouse... thus adding interest and relief from the overall quality of total stillness. Signed it...
Done liker dinner!