I haven`t been doing much painting since getting stuck on N° 37 (below). I hated that painting but could not work out what was wrong with it. The more I worked on it the deeper I dug myself into a hole, but I was like a dog with a bone and just would not let it go! I tried changing the shape of the canvas (and a friend pointed out that I had unconsciously changed the poplar trees into pine trees – I have no idea where they came from!) I have finally decided to move on and paint over my second attempt. I`ve been working from a reference photo that just doesn’t have enough information and I don’t have the skill level to pull off a large painting with my imagination. Anyway, to put this thing to rest I did two small oil studies yesterday working with a limited palette of blue and yellow, plus a little pre-mixed grey and white. In one I kept to a warmer mix of colors, using cerulean, and in the other I tried to keep things cool, with a touch of alizarin in the blue. The underpainting shows through in both of them. I may play around with another study combining the two color strings since they are already mixed up, but I will not be doing a large painting. When I started this landscape series, the plan was to quickly do a whole lot of small studies, but I let myself get bogged down by being overly ambitious. I really hope to pull myself out of this slump and get working again.
Here’s my reference photo, followed by the latest landscapes – 38 and 39. If you’d like to use the reference and paint one yourself, please feel free to do so.