I just started work on a new piece last night. It is always hard to get started on a new piece after a long break and with my trip down under, it is almost exactly a month since I last picked up my paintbrush.
What always amazes me is how the painting just flows, even after such a long break. The difficulty in getting started is the fear of creating a bad piece – yet when I actually get started, the picture comes out just right. Well, I haven’t finished yet, so maybe I should keep quiet till I’ve seen the last brushstroke…
The painting is of a view in Nahal Kziv in the Western Galilee in northern Israel. The picture shows a view towards evening, looking down the valley showing the contrast of the dark cliffs in shadow and the bright low sun pouring through the branches of the trees.
In the bottom section of the picture that I haven’t covered yet, you can see the guide lines I put in to aid the composition. This is a technique I often use to mark out a picture. I take the reference photo and draw lines along the major compositional lines and then mark these same lines out on the canvas in charcoal. As I paint I refer to these lines to position the elements on the canvas. I find this to be a lot better than marking out a grid as it helps transfer the dynamics of the picture and not just the element positioning.
Maybe I’ll do a post about this technique some time in some more detail.