In the last post I mentioned the tedious nature of this style of painting. I mean the multitude of dots, placed in an apparent random order, but having to be part of the overall design. I’ve come up against this issue before, in the painting of clouds. The obvious difference is, there are no dots in my cloud painting and so the process is freer but easier to control.
Compared to clouds this is more difficult. I was looking at the works of the Impressionists again lately, and I like the way they painted in very small brush strokes, almost dots of colour. I know this was popular at that time as there was a movement called ‘Pointillism’ and even Van Gogh tried his hand at painting in this way. What I didn’t like was the two dimensional arrangement of the dots giving the painting an ’embroidery’ look. Probably this, in itself, was a revolutionary vision at that time and would explain its popularity among artists.
My approach is to paint layers of dots, meticulously placing one definite layer in front of the other, but not consealing the under layer. This gives depth and perspective in the apparent mass of colour. In the accompanying video you can see this. In most cases the most distant ‘plane’ of dots is painted first with occasional additions to under layers as the painting progresses.
There is another issue here regarding colour. Because I use so few colours (here its just five plus black and white), mixing colours is most important. Too much mixing produces dull colours, but with just five basic ‘tube’ colours to work with, producing an almost infinite range of ‘clean’ colours does require a particular approach. I’ve just completed another similar painting to this one, using the same five colours, but he overall colour is different. While I was recording the painting process I also recorded the colour mixing. I hope to incorporate this into the painting process video, as I think it might helpful, especially for beginners.
The video of the above painting is over twenty minutes long, which means it won’t be popular for YouTube views. But again, it shows the buildup and might be helpful for beginners.