The Little Painting: Overworking a piece!

People enjoyed the last post on reworking a painting, so a few week ago I started a little painting 16x 16 acrylic and I will show you the step by step process. I started this painting like I often do with my oil paintings.  But with acrylic you have to be a lot faster in the first step. To slow down the drying time I added an acrylic glazing liquid.

I covered the canvas with a mixture half and half of crimson red acrylic paint and the acrylic glazing liquid (gloss). After covering the canvas I then rubbed out light areas and tree trunks using paper towels, sometime rolling up the towels to pencil like shapes and sometimes scrunching the towel up and pressing it on the surface.

In step two I added some darks using ultimarine blue, crimson red and a touch of yellow. I’am using a very limited palette for this piece. The above colours plus white. I wanted to start the shadow areas of the trees and add a bit of green foliage. As you can see Iam working very loosely not worrying at this point about shapes and lines, just filling in space but being sure to leave lots of the base colour (red) showing through.

Next, I added more light areas using an off white mixture of paint and also more dark areas and was liking the result.

In step 4, I added more greens and started to add in sky areas. I liked it when I come to the sky part, it just seems to bring the painting to life and the more you fill in the more defined the beginning marks become. The tree trunks stand out more. As you can, I had added a lot more blues in the sky and redefined the branches and added a red and orange fall colours to the foliage. You will also notice some purple and green here and there if you look closely. 

I almost always like my paintings when they are half done. What is it that makes us not want to stop even when we are liking what is before us? Is it the need to please others? Is it the “rules” of painting that have been drilled into us since childhood? Is it my own insecurities? Maybe all of the above.

At this point of this exercise, I can where it was in the painting that I wanted to stop. But alas it is no more, and is now covered in layers of paint!

But…no painting is a failure…it is only a learning experience and the more you do the better you will get.