Sunday, 8 November 2015

Variation on a Theme: Saignan Valley II

Saignan Valley II
30" x 24"  acrylic on canvas
While working on a larger canvas featuring this same view looking down over the valley from the village of Saignan in Provence, I started this second 'variation'. My idea, once again, was to (try to) keep it loose, painterly and more abstract than the first canvas, which you can see here. 

After doing a very quick drawing in my sketchbook, I roughed in the design on the canvas using Inktense pencil crayons - they are like watercolour pencil crayons but the colours are more intense and permanent once dry. I then painted clear water on the pencil lines achieving the blurry, watery effect you see here. I really liked my start but had no idea what to do next. I knew that I would lose the graphic quality through painting - so I left it alone for a few weeks.
When I finally returned to the work, I added colour and paint, filling in a few area and leaving other parts alone. I began to really enjoy the white parts (actually unpainted canvas) and decided to maintain them, but did add white paint. Slowly I added more colour but kept the shapes big, while playing with perspective.

Knowing that the foreground flowers would be various shades of magenta, I wanted to tone the entire work down with a chromatic grey elsewhere.  And so it went. Final touches were added with the inktense pencils, outlining shapes for emphasis and adding surface detail. 
Fun! And fairly loose and abstract too!

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