Got the Blues – A Diary

Day 1:

A wash of blues: I love this wash, I really, really do. It worked so well. Feeling hysterically pleased and impressed – so many of these washes of mine do NOT work out this beautifully. Jean Haines encourages one to practise the painting of washes on a regular basis: to get to know how the pigments interact and work together. I can add an additional reason: so that you don’t get too attached to a wash when it turns out well!

The Blues: Fuchsite Genuine, Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, Mayan Blue (all from Daniel Smith)

Now the question is – what do I do with it – where do I go from here? The initial plan was for this to be the background seascape for my sailing boat, but I am bored with boats! I really don’t want to mess up this beautiful wash with the wrong subject choice. Or even worse, to paint the chosen subject badly and waste this lovely wash of colour. I almost want to leave it just as it just as it is. Need courage to take the next step.

Day 2:

Watching and waiting and still enjoying the blues. Trying to think outside the box and get beyond the idea of a seascape. Haven’t made much progress in my thinking – considering a lighthouse scene (still involves the see, but no boats); a wintery mountain…….eventually some thoughts about heading back to my Venetian masque project, but worried that it will flop again. No painting. No progress. Dreaming in blue.

Day 3:

Watching & waiting & thinking & wondering.

Day 4:

More of the same. Trying to see it from a different perspective. Still looks like a wave and I have absolutely no interest in painting a surfer.

A change of perspective

Day 5:

Light-bulb moment! A peacock. In blues. Quick research on PMP – lots of lovely peacock photos. Picked one by Steven James Gibbs. Yay! Have inspiration again….and a little more courage now that I have a plan.

Day 6:

Some practices of colour on a piece of scrap paper. Decided against the Cotman Emerald Green that lies unused in my first painting set – it is just TOO bright. Stick with my blues and Turquoise instead. Here we go….

  1. Start with the eye – don’t forget the light
  2. Play with the blues: Mayan, Indigo, Turquoise, Fuchsite, Phthalo Blue
  3. Add salt.
  4. Add water.
  5. Add colour.

Peacock (in progress)

And leave to dry. Stop fiddling. Take a step back. Take a break. Back off!

Day 7:

Practice the beak. Gorgeous Moonglow takes centre stage once again. Still on a break from the main painting. One issue still buzzing around in my head – should I bring in a warmer colour to “add” something to the coolness of the blue, or should I leave it as it is…..When in doubt – don’t touch. There is already some warmth in the eye. Will reassess once the beak is attached.

Day 8:

Ready to tackle that beak. And more detail on the feathers.

A few days later…

Big Blue has arrived!

Big Blue

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~ by tomorrowslices on November 25, 2012.

10 Responses to “Got the Blues – A Diary”

  1. The watching and waiting and dithering paid off: this is absolutely gorgeous. 🙂

  2. Fantastic post and painting. Well done Dawn. I’m really pleased for you. 🙂

  3. How did this one feel then? You have managed what we are all striving for, and now you’ve done it once, am sure more inspiration will come for the next one, and don’t forget you were aiming for another seascape at first. Jean often has a subject in mind when she starts but depending on how the wash turns out can often change her mind if she sees something different in the wash. I think you can be so pleased with this on so many counts… first you have done a wash to be happy with… second you have actually been inspired to turn it into something else and third you have executed a lovely painting of a peacock with everything focused on the eye and beak and other areas lost…… bet you are quietly very excited!!

    • Not at all quiet about it – more like “HUGELY excited”, Judith – yes – it all came together – am very pleased with it. Let me rephrase that – VERY, VERY, EXTREMELY delighted with it! Thanks for your continues encouragement and support – it means a lot to me!

  4. This is really fabulous!!!! BEAUTIFULLY DONE – and thank you for your notes about the process!!!!

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