Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Gethsemane So Far


The underpainting is complete. I made good speed with this but had a few worries and concerns which engaged me in sadness, so to solve the problem I listed each concern with solutions.

The main thing I was unhappy with was a slightly "furry" surface, which resulted from slightly sanding the wood before starting. That was because I had to switch to using the back of the panel at the last moment. I could have chosen a new piece, but I'd had enough of preparation and wanted to get started. As such, the surface had an unusual quality, like delicate felt. This was better than a hard knobbly surface (which I've also encountered). It's not too serious, and something I now know how to avoid in future.

Secondly I was unahppy with my brushes. I get through them so quickly. Here I dropped one into a puddle of paint when practically new, right on the ferrule where the bristles go in! I knew that would kill the point, and it did. Even so, I can easily get though two new brushes per painting, perhaps one per day, yet I try to use the worn out ones, scraping and mopping with their ragged curled ends, often to the detriment of the painting quality. One solution here is to buy and set aside new brushes for each major work. It would be rather expensive though.

Some good things happened too, mainly that I managed to make good speed on the painting without losing quality. I'm reasonably happy with this painting so far (a fragment is shown, I'll refrain from showing the whole picture until it's finished).

I'd like to repaint it, as usual, and if I did it would be better because of the lessons learned, but this time I think I'll add a second layer in semi-opqaue paint to ease it towards greatness. Some of the values are wrong compared to the study (this has happened before, I must pay attention to global values). Some of the gilded areas have problems too, and the picture is crying out for red, however amongst the cacophany of problems and imperfections there is some good.

7 comments :

PAMO said...

Oh yes Mark- there is SO MUCH GOOD!!! I appreciate your dedication to your work, and it shows in all the details. This is beautiful and I look forward to seeing the completed painting.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment on my blog today. Your words cut deep- in a good way. It must be the poet in you, able to see beyond.
Pam

Mark Sheeky said...

Thanks Pam for those lovely words. I meant what I said on your Blog. You are an excellent writer. Maybe one day you'll decide to write and illustrate a children's book... hmm... starring a certain cat perhaps. Purrrhaps.... :D

-Don said...

This seems to be coming along nicely from where I'm sitting. I look forward to seeing it come to fruition.

You must use some very small and delicate brushes. Do you use them all the way through? Or, do you use larger brushes on your undercoat and build to the smaller ones? Just curious...

-Don

Mark Sheeky said...

I tend to go from large to small, but never that large... depends on the detail level. A size zero round (Proarte Acrylix), and a tiny 000 are often the only two I'll use on a painting. Here I used a size 2 flat as well, but that's all. Quite small brushes for a pic nearly a metre wide, but there are a lot of little "bits" in this one so not much opportunity for covering a large flat area.

Eva said...

I am amazed at the quality of your paintings. I can see and understand the work that goes into achieving it. That's why I'm an abstract painter, I would not have your patience.

Dan Kent said...

Very beautiful - I love the soft quality to it. Echoing Pam - there is so much good here. I love it. I look forward to seeing the rest of the painting as you are ready. I really enjoy hearing about your process too, the troubles and all. And as a man I have just got to say, "Why can't all trees look like that?" :)

Mark Sheeky said...

Thanks for the wonderful words everyone. It's inspiration like that that makes creating art so much easier.