Monday, August 1, 2011

Moon Over Venice - Beauty Meets Discipline

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This painting was not finished in an hour. Oh no. More like 5 hours. Yes, this little 5"x 6" oil painting took over 5 hours. Why? Attention to detail my friend, attention to detail. That and finding it face down in the palette - mysteriously it had toppled over, over night, and did a perfect face plant in my wet paint palette that laid right underneath it. I just laughed. I wiped it off and went back to work.

Alla prima painting (wet on wet) oil painting requires cleaning your brushes constantly to keep the colour true. Because this is a small painting and there was so much detail that made for slow going, but the results are are very much worth it. This was also a good exercise in subtle color values. There wasn't a lot of high drama in this painting to get your attention so it really needed to be well designed, and a good understanding of colour values and their placement had to be implemented. My colour palette consisted of ultramarine blue, cad yellow light, raw umber, cassel earth, a smidge of viridian and burnt sienna and of course, titanium white.

So here it is. I just LOVE the peacefulness of it. The barely rippling water, the full moon over the Venetian architecture with blue-tarped gondolas swaying back and forth gently on the surface of the water. THAT is what kept me working on this painting. If I didn't love the subject matter, then when I found it face down in wet paint that would have been a wrap. If you love what you are doing, what you are working on or for, that can carry you through some tough or tedious times my friends.

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