From the point of view of materials this painting is simple. This requires more effort to achieve an acceptable result and this means working the brushes to create a interesting surface in the absence of colours. Apart from the limited palette (Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre and Cerulean Blue) there were only three brushes used.
This is significant for me as I generally use a range of brushes for each stage in the painting process. I have my favourites. The small long bristled nylon for details, usually at the final stages. The large flats for the expansive areas of sky and the very large ‘filberts’ to blend and soften the clouds. The work horses are the medium rounds for the main areas of painting. These are the most useful as they are wide enough to apply large amounts paint quickly but also for painting areas needing a clean sharp edge. This is achieved by rotating the brush clockwise in left to right strokes and anticlockwise for right to left strokes. In both cases the sharp edge will be on the upper edge of a horizontal stroke. If you try it you will know what I mean.This might sound a little fussy but if your paintings need areas of colour with edges and not outlines, this is a good skill to master.
Unusually, as I said above, there were only three brushes used in this very limited palette of ‘dull’ colours. The main reason for using many brushes is to reduce the time required to clean them while painting. This method of applying washes of colour with White Spirits only, effectively kept the brushes clean between the applications of different colours. Another advantage of the ‘no medium, solvent only’ method.
The extra effort in the painting I began to talk about, before I digressed into brushes, is the drawing of a multitude of fine lines onto the wet backgrounds. Its not a simple task. There are no ‘construction’ lines or sketch marks to follow. As in all drawing the line makes a definite statement and the image leaves the area of realism (as in photo realism) and becomes representational. This painting subject is from the imagination and the multitude of lines suggest areas of solid mass drawn from the imagination. I am creating what I know is there and not what I would see if this scene existed and I was looking at it.
If I allow this to progress I can loose the link to realism and enter the area of ‘fantasy’ images. These images will resonate with viewers whose visual experiences is similar to mine but lack the universal language of the visual world. An ongoing struggle for me as I attempt to keep a ‘look of reality’ in my paintings.
Here is the video of the above painting process.