Process of a painting II

So after my post yesterday the journey of this painting continues – and this is the post where it all went a bit wrong!

I had probably put about 10 hours into the painting by this point and although I like my figures to look awkward, I just could not get it out of my head that the pose wasn’t working – her head did not look attached to her body. No matter how many times I tried to redraw her, I just couln’t get it to work. One day I would think it was ok – that it was supposed to look like that – then I would go back to it the next morning and it would just bother me, driving me to distraction. But there were so many things about the painting that I was happy with – I liked her face, I liked the details of her dress and I was beginning to like the background.

So I painted out the body and turned it around completely. I also added a few more layers to the background, warming it up again. But I still wasn’t happy!

I was really struggling at this point and thought about giving up and starting something new but instead I painted over her again and worked even more on the pose (although as I look at the stage before this one I wonder why? I actually like her face and pose in the photo above this one but there was obviously something I was not happy with so on it continued)

Above you can see the photographs I used as inspiration for the background and also that at this point I went back in, re-drawing the arches and curves in a more measured way.

So the last stage I shall show you today is the image above – where I went back in quite heavily with the paint again. Redrawing, adding more shadows, putting down many more layers of colour and texture. Although many of these layers are not seen in the final painting, this is an important stage for me as it is building up the feeling and atmosphere of the piece. I think it is also where I form a real attachment to the painting and the image as up till this point it has just felt like a bit of a battle-ground!

I will show you the last images and the final piece tomorrow and would love to read any feedback or questions you might have.


4 thoughts on “Process of a painting II

  1. gillian, it’s such a labour of love, isn’t it. giving birth to a piece. and i love it that you’re putting so much heart and time into this gorgeous piece until ‘you’ absolutely love it.

    although i must say, i’ve loved it from the get, go. love reading about your process.

    • Francesca thank you so much – your comments always inspire me to keep going. This one was a real struggle but my little sketches have brought so many new ideas for paintings so can’t wait to work on more! X

  2. It’s fascinating to see the progress and process of this beautiful piece of art Gill. I’d be interested to know how you achieve the muted background and dress.
    It’s a stunning painting. xo

    • Hi lyn! I will message you on Facebook too incase you don’t check back here but I use oil sticks over the acrylics – I explain it a bit more in the third post about the painting so hope that helps! Thanks so much for your words of encouragement as always x

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