Finished Painting and Further Experiments

Above is the complete painting started last week. I continued painting it along the lines previously discussed. I needed to repaint one or two of the sections as the tones came out too flat and / or the colours did not sit well with the others. When I work in this grid like way I consciously think about each colour I am laying down and how it is going to react and be viewed when place next to another colour. I know that colour perception is as much do with the colours next to it than the actual colour one is looking at so I apply colours with this in mind. I try to find a balance of harmony and dissonance that ultimately produces an aesthetically pleasing outcome that reflects my source material. I feel that I have done this with the work above and below is another look at the photo that directly inspired its creation.


Now that this painting was out of the way I decided to experiment further with the oil painted greys I was making last week. Although I enjoyed making the painting at the top of this post I was getting frustrated working in a very restricted and define manor and part of me longed to get more gestural with some oil paint. I had brought in a few canvases so I decided to use one to make a highly gestural painting based around the grey tones I was using last week. This was going to be as much as an exercises in making greys as it was making a painting and I had no specific outcome in mind and it was really just a way to break out of what I had been doing but with a different medium and hopefully a more refined palette.

The outcome of this task is pictured above. This was actually completed in about 2-3 hours of frantic mixing and applying various greys to the canvas. During the process of this painting it occurred to me it was becoming a little bit like turners classic "Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth, 1842" painting as pictured below. I suppose as I started applying paint in a very quick manor using my palette knife and gradually bleeding in the different grey tones together slightly they started taking on a storm like appearance. I don't really see the final result as a "proper" painting, its more like an exercise in creating grey tones and much needed relief from the constraints of working with cheap acrylics in a very considered way.

What I did get out of this exercise was that I should definitely be using oils a lot more as they are so much more intuitive to the painting process. I seem to spend a lot of my time trying to make acrylic paints work like oil paints when in fact I should just use oil paints anyway. I have found that the oils I mostly use (Georgian) are actually really good for their price and provide much better colours than similar prices acrylics and once dried they look so much better than the “plastic” acrylics.

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