Well. This is unexpected.

Who can say what came over me this week?

One moment, I’m raiding my recycling bin for more ordinary objects to exploit, the next I’m channeling my nana’s 1950’s upholstery.

I really don’t know know what to say about this one… I keep looking at it in utter confusion. It’s just so far from what I’d picture myself producing… I mean, it’s roses. It’s pink and it’s roses.

Paint-by-numbers line work
Struggling through mis-matched tones and argh! those greens!

It’s pink. And it’s roses – 20 x 25cm (8 x 10″) oil on board

I guess I’m just going to have to notch this one up to a learning experience. And here’s what I learned:

  • Pre-drawing a paint-by-numbers style of picture increases the difficulty of creating a painting that looks spontaneous and fresh.

  • It also gave me the perfect excuse to get bogged down in detail again – try as I might to colour loosely outside of the lines.
  • Painting off of a photograph can also kill the moment. The object is flattened out, and even though I tried to adjust colours to add depth, there’s nothing like the real thing to give a true sense of light and shape. Next time I attempt flowers, I’ll do it from life.

  • Using cool and warm tones of colours is a good way of making objects recede or come forward, but you can go overboard. I mean, a 30cm gap between flowers hardly constitutes the need for an entire shift in tone. It’s not like I’m creating atmospheric perspective like you’d see in a landscape painting.

  • Greens – especially made up from fully saturated blues and yellows – are notoriously badly behaved. Often they won’t lie flat, and require far thicker application. This is, in part, because yellows can be quite transparent. Paints with more pigment and greater opacity would help this. Bags full of money that could be used to buy paints with more pigment would also help this.

  • I don’t think I can expect to be thrilled with every painting I attempt. Instead, I’ll be happy with little things. Like the fact that I persevered to actually finish it. I could also remind myself of how this painting might have looked if I’d tried it twelve or eighteen months ago.

So there you have it: the results of subliminal childhood memories on my paintings. Just be glad that nothing triggered memories of my Dad’s 1970’s shirt patterns.


Thanks for stopping by and reading about my shocks and surprises with oil paint. If you’d like to have new posts emailed direct to your inbox, consider hitting the Follow button in the side menu.


One thought on “Well. This is unexpected.

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