Saturday, 8 March 2008

Shape And Tone

Painting in the landscape can be a solitary experience. This can be a fascinating. You are relatively still for long periods of time in places where humans normally just pass by.

It is not uncommon to see and hear animals very close to where I'm sitting. Last time I was at the river Stour at this point a stoat ran right past me. I got the impression that it had been waiting to do so for some time – and had eventually lost patience. I also see deer, voles, foxes, jumping fish and so on. In the skies above, birds of prey constantly patrol.

Sometimes though, painting can end up being a very sociable occasion. This week, painting at my current spot on the river Stour, I spent an hour or so chatting to my best friend. Here I also frequently meet other people I know, Blandford being where I grew up.

In the top photograph above you see my painting only an hour in. It is unusual for me to photograph my work at such an early stage – but here it illustrates the foundation of how I work.

Right from the beginning I block in, with the paintbrush, the 'big' shapes – and relate these to each other. It is not until I am satisfied that the drawing relates faithfully to what I am looking at that I can build on this foundation.

The decisions I make about the relative placing of elements to each other can sometimes go on for days. The painting will emerge from this gradual process of resolution.

At the same time I am thinking about tone. But that's another post.

1 comment:

Mike/Debbie said...

We've been enjoying hearing about and watching the work in progress. Hope the winds aren't too strong where you are but the seas will be magnificent!!