Last week when I saw my usual model I had a basic idea for a painting but after trying a couple of poses in watercolour I decided I wasn’t at all happy at the outcome for various reasons, it just wasn’t working and the colours and tones were far too weak. I wanted to do a long vertical red painting and tried the model in various tall poses but they just didn’t work somehow. Mmmm…… rethink. And this week I realised that I’d been going about it the wrong way and I’d be better doing a long horizontal painting instead! Yay! Far better! And to get the stronger colour I was after I changed the medium to acrylics as they are far more vibrant and get a better result far quicker and more assuredly than watercolours. Success! I also decided to paint the whole background in a rich scarlet to start with which instantly gave me my mid tones and then all I needed to do was pick out the lights in the painting and add the darks and it was complete. The composition was something that came to me with one of those instants of brilliance too. So I got the model to lie on a long sofa, with a table lamp to the side of her, highlighting her breasts and long shapely legs, and painted the composition as it was. Since the light and her arm nearest to it were the lightest parts of the painting, I captured those first, letting the rest of her body fade towards the darkness at the other end of the painting. To add interest to the sofa I put golds and purples in with the cushions surrounding the model and am really delighted with the result of it! It works beautifully as a composition, I love the colours of it, the rich vibrant reds, and the paler tones of the womans skin. Her pose is at ease, elegant and alluring. She’s confident in herself and delights in being admired in her rich setting. I think it’s sensual, erotic and graceful. And the title of this painting? Well, it could have been a number of titles, but I’ve settled on “Lady with the lamp”. And I know I’ve done a good painting because I keep wanting to look at it! And that’s always a good sign!!