Today’s efforts, ‘Path through the field’, Oil on canvas panel, 18inch by 14inch.
I had an incredible afternoon painting in this beautiful landscape not far from my home in Doncaster. I was mesmorized by the coming and going of the shadows being cast accross the landscape from the rolling clouds above.
This is the third time I have pitched up my equipment at this spot, but why?
Firstly, the location is very rich subject matter and by this I mean there are a number of elements which add interest to the scene. Firstly, the path which also attracts walkers, giving me a chance to add human figures to my compositions. Other elements include the trees, the crops which are constantly growing and changing, the distant field and woodland which are great elements to incorporate to achieve a sense of depth.
So, what are the benefits of working in a series? From my experience, some benefits include the following:
Becoming aquainted with a subject enables you to paint it with more confidence and on a deeper level, showing greater understanding and freedom. The first time I set up to paint a new subject, I feel as though I have no idea what I am looking at.
Everything I do in the first 30 minutes is very superficial and lacks a certain amount of understanding. Gradually as I spend more time with the subject, it’s as though secrets begin to be revealed and I feel more confident about applying paint. This is one reason why I usually work 2 sessions on each painting. The first session acts as a foundation.
Another great benefit of working in a series is that you can explore a variety of compositions which could include zooming in on a certain aspect of the landscape. Often, just as I am ending a painting session I might turn to left or right slightly and see a whole new painting. Artists often say that you could spend a life time painting in one spot 🙂
Another benefit is that when you’re painting outside, revisiting the same spot enables you to get closer to nature, to see the cycle of the seasons and colours as well as see the subject in different weather conditions.
One thing I attempt to do in my work is to capture something of the moment. In theory, this should mean that every painting is quite different as every hour of every day is different. When my paintings start to look the same as one another, I’ll know I am doing something wrong. It’s strange that Art critics often merit an Artist on having a signature style……