Tonight’s painting was a failure. I’m cutting out all the BS on this post and just focusing on why this painting failed, or why I feel it failed.
My original idea was to knock down the drawing a bit that I had been working on for several sessions and then paint over top and try and render the still life accurately with correct value and colors. Before I started I was excited, I felt that it would be easy, I didn’t have to worry about the drawing that much at all, just get the values and color correct and I would have a great painting… it didn’t work out that way.
From the beginning I felt like I was being stagnated, it was like painting by numbers I guess. Have to stay within the lines, I felt urges to pick up a larger brush and just let it fly. Not too crazy of course but, at least some freedom. But I didn’t, I even pulled out a smaller brush and began doing details with it.
Even then I should have had a well rendered painting right? No, for some reason I felt lost from the very beginning. I felt like I was always guessing, is this the right value, and second guessing. After about 35 minutes into the painting I was hating how the whole process felt and was wanting to quit. I pressed on though, in hopes that it would get better. It did not.
I had lost focus somewhere, I wasn’t calm, but agitated. It seemed like every stroke I laid down was wrong in some way, either drawing, value, color or edges. Plus I was hindered by all the lines and in some instances had to force myself just go over them.
I still can’t place exactly what went wrong. I think it was a combination of a very dark background making it hard to judge values and my overwhelming urge not to mess up the drawing underneath that was stifling any painterly spirit.
For the next few paintings I will be sticking to simple shape still lives. I will work to get the drawing perfect then I will obliterate it during the same session with correct color and value, making a point to not pay attention to the lines too much. I keep looking over at our basket of fruit and thinking that apples, oranges and bananas would be great. It would feel like freedom.