Well Fitzy’s Living Flame painting is coming on nicely. I’m really pleased with the figure, and think I’ve added some more excitement to the painting than was in the original working painting that I did a few weeks ago. All to the good! But I also have to consider the “flame” part of the painting, as it is very much part of the image. Instead of painting the figure THEN painting the background, I’ve painted the two together, building them up slowly, so that the figure is IN the background of the painting and not sitting on top of it, which it sometimes looks like in other peoples paintings.
Earlier on this week I decided that I was close to finishing it. I just needed to do a few more little bits to the flame aspect and it would be done. After spending quite a few hours on it, I thought that when I looked at it fresh the next day, I would think it was finished…………… But I didn’t. I felt there was more I could add to it, so I kept on painting, only little bits of it here and there, tiny subtleties that slowly built up the background. Great. I must be finished now then. The next day I looked quizzically at it and decided that it needed more depth of colour in parts, more flames reaching up in other parts, and spent a long time standing back and looking at it to make sure. Because that’s so important to do. The painting might be created horizontally or slightly raised up at an angle, in this case, but its going to be viewed vertically, so periodically I’ll raise the particular painting I’m working on just to check, and usually find that there are a few areas that need extra attention due to doing that. And I always say that however much time I put into painting a picture, its only a tenth of the thinking that goes into it. So, its good to stand back and assess a painting and just “think” about it whilst I’m looking…… making decisions like “Am I happy with the way that the focal point is showing, should there be a stronger contrast in that area, is that area too dominant and needs toning down a bit, do I need to put more highlights in there, or darks against it, which bits are shouting at me that they’re wrong? Which am I happy with? Where can I change something to enhance the painting…….?” And so it goes on until I look at the painting and think “If I did any more, I’d spoil it, there is nothing left that is needing to be changed” and that’s when I say “Its done!”. But………………. with this style of acrylic glazing painting, you can go on and on and on, and not spoil it, but add more depth to it here and there. When I first thought at the end of the week that it was done, it was, in a way. But the next day I thought I could enhance it a bit more. The same the next day. None of it has done anything but add more depth to the painting, which I think gives it more personality.
So, yesterday I looked at it after spending a few hours on it, and thought “It really is done now”.
But there is something else I need to consider. Something that normally doesn’t come into this decision making.
It has a sibling. The Tarse.
And The Tarse is brighter than the “Living flame” painting. It is more vibrant. More colourful. Stronger. More potent.
Next to it, the Living Flame painting looks pale, washed out, weak and ineffectual. On its own, it doesn’t.
And they are going to hang together on the wall. So I have to consider that they have to look good together too, to enhance each other as siblings.
So, it looks like I’ve got to paint some more after all. I want to get it right. I want them to look right together. I can’t dim the Tarse -its finished – and its right that it is bright and beautiful with strong vibrant colour. So, the Living Flame picture will have to be darkened and brightened in places. But not all over, just enough to give it depth and credence. But without losing any of the glazed colours that are showing through the white of the canvas and giving the flame effect.
So, it looks like I’ve got to keep going for a while longer then………………………….. 🙂