Landscape darks – in progress (and finished)

The end result. Or rather I got to a point where I didn’t know what to do next (see foreground).

In progress.  I noticed with the flowers that values weren’t good – darks weren’t dark enough basically.   So this and trying out some new brushwork are being worked on in this masterpiece.

Flowers – complete


Gosh flowers are hard.    I  now have a good deal more respect for the genteel Victorian ladies who specialized in this.

Anyway I abandoned the previous attempt as it wasn’t feeling right.   After another quick failed sketch we ended up with this.   I’m not too displeased – it’s a bit stilted and the colours don’t really hang together (even though I only used 3) but when all’s said and done it could have been a lot worse.

Here’s a quick closeup

And in real life


So I wasn’t very happy with the last picture – composition was off, colors were off, everything frankly not right.   After reading Philip Jamison’s book
Making Your Paintings Work

 and learning that he often reworks paintings i.e lifts off colour with a sponge and repaints I decided to do the same thing.

Here is the result.

(Edit: This is after a few months from the original reworking post.  I’ve added in some branches to the trees to make them look more realistic and also added in some windows/doors to the house so it doesn’t look so bare)

Now it’s not going to win any prizes but I think it is a definite improvement.  The colours are more unified and the brushwork is less slapdash but still has some life to it.  The composition is still awkward – the house doesn’t sit happily and there needs to be less horizontality (is that a word?) in the foreground but overall a definite improvement.   (Time taken: about an hour)
I’ve always been wary of reworking as I don’t want to risk that most terrible of sins, muddiness.   Today’s efforts however have made me reconsider.  And, frankly, given what I started with it couldn’t have got any worse :

New rough paper

I splashed out $5.99 for some Arches rough watercolor paper and here is the result.   The colors are off because it was basically dark by the time I’d finished but the brush strokes were much easier.  Note the nice dry brush work on the foreground and the tree foliage.  Not much to write home about overall but not too shabby.
Note – I get sixteen of these to one sheet – it’s not $5.99 per doodle.