Trouble on the Creek
One of the happy consequences of my artwork from the 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge is 30 small pictures to consider as studies for larger work. I like to start with the worst ones.
There was obviously something about the subject that inspired me, and while I didn’t nail it the first time, I want to keep trying until I get it right or until it’s not inspiring anymore. Last weekend I gave myself a challenge: To repaint the least popular (per Instagram likes) painting from the bunch of 30—No. 3. It started as a snapshot taken by my mom. The photo is great on its own—which normally I’d steer clear of—but mom was like, “Paint it!”
It’s one of those images that looks a bit abstract because of its simplicity: few lines, few colors. But just like the most difficult time to drive is at dusk, the difficult time of day to paint is also dusk because it flattens everything. There’s little contrast between light and dark; everything is soaked in a mono-tonal blue-gray light. For drivers, this means you can't see very well. For painters, this means you can't get interest and depth from easy sources of light and shadow. A strong light source is a lay-up for painters. Without it, you've got to really know how to play ball.
I like the first painting, a watercolor. It has the simplicity of design I was aiming for, but maybe I could give it a little more character. Here’s what I did (pictured below).
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