Ever wondered what happened on a painting before it was finished – how it looked along the way? I wrote a while back about knowing when a painting is finished but sometimes it’s hard for me to remember where it began, and quite how many stages it passed through on the way. So I thought it would be interesting to search back through my photobank on my poor groaning phone and share how this one progressed. The story of the painting if you like. There may be some jumps where I forgot to take photos, but hopefully there are enough for you to follow.
I started painting over a previous painting where I had used just black and white, which I really didn’t enjoy! However it gave a good base and something to react against from the start. With absolutely no preconceptions about where this would lead, I was free to experiment and be led by the painting each stage…
This was an entirely new way of working for me, prompted by taking part in Nicholas Wilton’s Art2Life tutor programme earlier this year. The images below cover time from May until November. Yes, that’s a long time for a painting, but I was working on others at the same time. I mention it to show how impossible it is to answer the question “How long does it take you to finish a painting?”
I hope you enjoy seeing this develop, it’s fun to play spot the difference between each image!
Having started so boldly, it was a surprise to end up making finishes with a tiny brush to refine small differences which add richness and areas of discovered detail. It’s not time efficient! But it’s a strong indicator that this is complete. I could go on forever, but it’s time to take those sparks into a new painting.
I called this ‘Unearthed’. There is a feeling of excavation, of history and discovery. A rich red of soil, the movement of changing weather, man made scars in the land and large boulders of rock which won’t be moved.
This painting was shortlisted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017 and is now SOLD but it is available as a print in different sizes > click here to see buying options <