This work was taken from a television screenshot believe it or not. The programme featured the Garden of Nympha in Italy and I just couldn't resist the challenge. I painted a similar subject before in May 2010 (is it five years already?) called "Secret Garden" and found it a lot easier than anticipated. This one has far more details but to pull off the real drama, the format would have to be huge and done in acrylics or oils. I just couldn't get the details dark enough with the first layers of colours coming through.
I decided to get some portrait drawing done this afternoon and not having done any sketching or drawing for ages, I expected to do badly. This one didn't turn out all that bad, but again, the lack of professional lighting and a small camera doesn't show the drawing up very well. I wanted to shade the background in pencil but it looked like a long haul, so I decided to compromise with a few quick brushes of black gouache and it certainly added a bit of dynamism, even though it slightly overshadows the drawing. It certainly was a whole lot more freeing than the fix-up job of my last post where I changed the colours of a painting after four years!!
Graphite and Gouache on Cartridge Paper
10.5" x 8.5"
I'm not usually prone to fixing any of the paintings that appear on this blog - they are not worth it. They are, and have been, preambles and sketches of a sort to my bigger works. However, this painting made four years ago has been very popular with viewers but there was something wrong with in that the space didn't show the correct recession into the dark area at the rear of the format and as a result, it lost some if its potential magic. The colours on the right hand side were too light and bright for the space they were representing, so today, I decided to go over this to see if the painting would actually improve. It did! It's always tricky to paint over water-based paints but this one wasn't so difficult and not much of the original paint bled through. The 'corrected' painting is the first one shown below and one can see how much more authentic the architectural space appears with the shadows correctly valued. The original version is below it if anyone feels like comparing them. Unfortunately, I now have a different camera so the overall colours are slightly changed as well, but the overall effect is what I want. These cameras drive me nuts.
This has been lying around for a long time (hence the 'almost a speed gouache') but today I just felt the urge to complete it and it has worked out well. It's taken from a television programme - can't remember which one - and I liked the ambience and the challenge of the lighting.
Gouache on Cartridge Paper - 13" x 10"