Rather than being close to completion, I like to think that I am instead slightly further away from the beginning than I was. Producing each layer is like watching paint dry – literally.
As stated previously, I left the painting to dry a little over the weekend, at least enough that I could begin working on the foreground; and giving the old boy and his missus another coat of thin glaze. I think he in particular is definitely looking better for it. I also set myself the task of tackling that pesky tower and annexing building. I’m making progress with that too, though it’s slow and frustrating, because it still isn’t quite how I want it to look. More glazes necessary before I can even begin to put final details on.
I also took some time to watch more painting tutorials on YouTube – very handy and much cheaper than studying fine art at college or university, also a darn sight more informative, if you ask me. This time I was learning the art of painting grass and trees in oils. Take a look at this guy’s work, it’s quite impressive – he has a very pleasant teaching style too, and makes it all look terribly easy (which of course it is, once you get the hang of it…):
I’ve not seen this one myself yet, but artist, Michael James Smith has a number of these grass painting tutorials out there.
I wasn’t aiming for photo-realism in my own painting, though these are still very useful techniques to take on board. Impressionism is what I was actually aiming for with this one. As you can see then, in my own painting, I’ve made a concerted effort to shape the grass, trees and bushes, and put a few branches in, although I’m still at the dark tones stage. I have to now let this layer dry before I can begin working on lighter tones and hopefully begin to create a sense of depth and form. I’ve opted not to use fast drying paint mediums just because they tend to be quite toxic and therefore require ample ventilation. We live in an apartment with regulated A/C, so ventilation is difficult. I would paint on the balcony, but we have workers scaling the walls and walking on the roof replacing the whole of the exterior – plus, it’s ridiculously hot and humid at the moment. I therefore have to be very patient, and do as the old masters did – wait. A couple of days seems to do it with the thinner glazes. I probably ought to be working on other paintings in between.
I’m a little happier with it now that I’m getting to the stage where the whole thing is starting to look like an actual painting and not some hack attempt at a landscape. And yes, I am my own worst critic when it comes to art, always have been. Not a bad thing though, as it means there is always room for improvement and a chance to learn new things, which I’m all for.