The unflappable sheep: it is gone. For now. To be continued.

June 1, 2023

Welcome to the month of June, all!  Sorry for the long silence on the blog. Sometimes life takes over and there is no brush to canvas

However, I can report that the ‘unflappable sheep’ is no more… Do you remember the painting below? I was never really very fond of it. I started working on it before our housemove. It was predominantly a fun experiment in the use of sculpting gel. That part of it worked out well. But I was never happy with how the colours came out.

As an artist, I sometimes have a result in mind and I can be quite stubborn to try and achieve it. Even if the painting does not turn out the way I wanted, it is still hard to decide to either keep it as a ‘lessons learned’ canvas, change it, paint over it or thrash it. Since I was never really terribly attached to it, I figured it would be a good practice piece to try and add new colour and abstract elements. Below is the result of that. I like the new colour palette, but there is so much going on that I am sure the eyes of the viewer will dart all over the place, not knowing where to go. So that was a fail, is my opinion. What do you think?

I did have a purpose here. I wanted to bring in colours that were reminiscent of Scottish kilt patterns, as this is, after all, a Scottish sheet. But it turned out to be hard to do that without getting to precise. I often use Photoshop to see where I can improve my paintings. Saves me the trouble of having to paint over elements that do not work. So below is an example of the Photoshop document. I did not like it…

The thing I was after was to get the colours to harmonise. And one way of doing that is to use all colours in all colours. Every base colour on the pallet has a lick of the other base colours in it. You would not say that this can work, but it does. All colours in the painting will then sort of be from the same family. It is a technique that was presented by Nicholas Wilton, who offers a lot of online tips and tricks when it comes to abstract and colour. I come from a background of realism and black & white, so there is still a lot to learn about those. As such, no failed painting is ever really a failure. It is a step in a learning process that will (hopefully!) ultimately lead to a more satisfying result.

What did I do with the canvas? Well, it has a new background colour that is a mix of all the colours I originally used, the sculpted areas of the sheet are still there so ‘all’ I need to do now, is think of a better context for the Scottish Sheep. Because it is unflappable. And it will be back. To be continued….

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